Automobile Magazine

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November 2012 marked my return to the Mighty Mitten, the most pleasant peninsula, my home, sweet home; Michigan. I accepted a position as a graphic designer for Automobile Magazine, an automotive publication based in Ann Arbor. Now, I went to school down the road in East Lansing, and it’s an understatement to say that my alma mater and the University of Michigan don’t really get along too well. It’s tough being green in a town full of maize and blue.

Working for Automobile has given me the chance to expand my horizons in the realm of print design. I’m now working with six and eight page spreads instead of section covers and one to two inside pages. Sometimes the freedom of typography and design decisions with such a broader page size can feel overwhelming. But more so in a “Oh wow, I can’t believe I have this much space” kind of way.

I work with both the print and iPad editions of the magazine. We first design the print packages, and after the magazine has been sent to the printers, we begin to transfer over the designs to iPad slides. The Adobe InDesign extension, Woodwing, makes it quite easy to incorporate interactive features such as slideshows, videos and hotspots into the iPad designs.

I may not be the biggest car buff, but the automotive industry runs deep in my blood. My great-grandfather owned an auto repair shop in Detroit during the 1930s, I have a great uncle who ran and operated his own Scout dealership on the east side of Detroit, and my grandfather worked for the Chrysler plant in, you guessed it, Detroit city.

Barcelona Travel Book

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Whenever I swap European travel stories with friends or acquaintances, I have to imagine that I sound like a broken record when discussing the five weeks I spent in Spain during the summer of 2010. “It was greatest five weeks of my life!” “Barcelona was incredible!” and “Seriously, why did I even bother coming home?” are common declarations lumped into my tales of the Catalonian city on the coast of Spain.

The art, architecture and culture also served as fantastic inspiration for a travel book assignment in a graphic design class I completed at MSU. The guidelines of the project were such: Pick a place, any place in the world in which to create a travel book highlighting unique and interesting characteristics of said place. It was to be a six page book with the following pages:

  • A cover, front and back, complete with spine
  • A table of contents
  • One page with primarily text
  • One page combining text and images
  • One page with primarily images
  • A unique information page

Since I was still in a hazy state of wanderlust from my study abroad adventure three months before, I naturally chose Barcelona. It also helped that I took boatloads of pictures on my trip so I had plenty of colorful and vibrant art to pick from.

The Barcelona travel book still ranks up there with the most enjoyable design projects that I’ve ever cranked out.

News design

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Print journalism isn’t dead; it’s just changing. Will newspapers ever be as booming or as profitable as they were decades ago? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that they still can’t serve as a compelling, visually-driven form of story telling — something that online news can’t always offer.

Working as a designer for the Louisville Gannett Design Studio had me in the thick of a fast-paced, interactive environment that places a heavy emphasis on high-impact news design. Having only a few hours to turn around a front page graphic or special section cover while also electronically dealing with numerous newsrooms and working on advance projects morphed me into a master multi-tasker.

Despite my youth, I was thrown into the fire for some of the biggest sporting events on the calendar. I designed the look and feel of the March Madness special sections for the Lansing State Journal by creating logos, banners and flags during Michigan State’s Big Ten Championship run and into the national tournament. The opportunity was given to me to create a special section poster page previewing the 138th Kentucky Derby — the biggest day of the year in the blue grass state. Gannett shipped me out to Indianapolis Star for three days to assist in the special section coverage for the Indianapolis 500. While on loan in Indy, I designed another special section preview front, this time for the big race at the Brickyard.

The opportunities — travel, professional experience, working under daily deadline pressure, being in a design-centered environment — have been endless, and I embraced the adventure of living in a new state on my own.

 

 

Barcelona Travel Book

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Whenever I swap European travel stories with friends or acquaintances, I have to imagine that I sound like a broken record when discussing the five weeks I spent in Spain during the summer of 2010. “It was greatest five weeks of my life!” “Barcelona was incredible!” and “Seriously, why did I even bother coming home?” are common declarations lumped into my tales of the Catalonian city on the coast of Spain.

The art, architecture and culture also served as fantastic inspiration for a travel book assignment in a graphic design class I completed at MSU. The guidelines of the project were such: Pick a place, any place in the world in which to create a travel book highlighting unique and interesting characteristics of said place. It was to be a six page book with the following pages:

  • A cover, front and back, complete with spine
  • A table of contents
  • One page with primarily text
  • One page combining text and images
  • One page with primarily images
  • A unique information page

Since I was still in a hazy state of wanderlust from my study abroad adventure three months before, I naturally chose Barcelona. It also helped that I took boatloads of pictures on my trip so I had plenty of colorful and vibrant art to pick from.

The Barcelona travel book still ranks up there with the most enjoyable design projects that I’ve ever cranked out.