On rare occasion Applied Arts engages an external design studio to guest art direct an issue of their Design Awards Annual. For Sasges Inc. this was a daunting but exciting task. We were honored to be asked and excited to put our minds to the project.
Our Challenge: • Work within an already established size, page count, pagination and supplier advertisements. • Create two features that would be of interest to the design community • Showcase selected portfolios of photographers and illustrators
At the end of the day we wanted our issue of Applied Arts to honour the Unsung Heroes of design, those in the industry that do not always get acknowledged. The printer, production artist, programmer, font designer, intern, writer, editor, project manager, lawyer, accountant and IT guy (to name a few). We wanted the design of the annual to showcase the work of the artists first and foremost, not create an overly design magazine to impress our peers. Instead we allowed the content to inform the design.
Our process began over a long-weekend as we put our collective creativity to work, debated the Unsung Hero theme and wrestled the minutiae of editorial content. The theme was carried out in one of our features, listing traits and quirks of the different unsung hero archetypes. We also play homage to other unsung heroes of the magazine like the barcode, enlarging it front and center on the magazine cover, as well as the paper with a blank spread to surprise the reader and have them read comments collected involving paper. To further reinforce the theme we created a spine treatment that showcased the design communities unsung heroes of their own. With the hashtag #unsungheroesofdesign we were able to collect comments from across the country that made mention of design instructors, family, friends etc. that were unsung heroes of our readers.
The finished magazine was successful in not only showcasing the award winners and featured portfolios of work, but also the unsung heroes of design that go unrecognized in our industry with every project. In addition our cover, an infographic of award winners by number of mentions, filled our twitter feed as people began to discover their names.