Three years ago, I approached Holly and Joey Baird of The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener with a new product, in effort to grow our audience , a quarterly digital magazine. Our first issue set a lot of standards and allowed us to share new ideas about; urban farming, illuminate the growth of our brand, set ourselves apart from the rest, and most importantly, give our audience a tangible piece of knowledge. Something they could share, download, email and print off at home for themselves.
In all the work I’ve created, I am most proud of the magazine.
Discovering Weakness and Raising Standards
In preparation for the summer issue, I discovered I had fallen victim to bad habits. Often in the freelancing world tight deadlines and specific requests from clients, can remove important elements of the design process, and this lazy mindset had begun to effect the quality of our magazine. That became more apparent when reviewing past issues.
So in response I decided to set a new standard for myself. It was time to change my work flow. I turned off my phone, I turned off the internet. I placed a huge ‘do not disturb’ sign on my studio door and I started sketching, brainstorming, and creating thumbnails. I would take long walks and drive myself crazy as I “carved” the ideas out in my head. I created a new grid for our articles, I took new photographs to reflect each article, instead of relying on our archives .This new approach turned out to be the most effective and powerful way to create a solid and standard design to carry the product to its final conception.
In the past, I used large amounts of color to create something vibrant and tantalizing. In this issue I used more negative space and a selected standard fonts to allow the magazine to be printed by our readers in a cost-effective manner.
I am very proud with the product we created this quarter. I’ve been indifferent towards my life as a creative person in the past few months and forcing myself to this change, and challenge to grow, revived my confidence and output. I’m very thankful to the audience that we have cultivated through our efforts at The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener. In today’s growing world of interactive media, print and 2-D design is becoming less appreciated. I have been blessed with the rare opportunity to create for a very involved and active audience.
You can read our publication at TheWisconsinVegetableGardener.com. (The summer issue will be out soon) It’s a PDF free to download, share and print. We also have the complete back archive available. You can also find more information about Holly and Joey, including a video series, podcast and multitude of things that they are up to. If you live in southeastern Wisconsin, you have many opportunities to attend their free educational talks this summer, click here for the full schedule.