my 1960s Americans

Last Thursday, May 15, I visited Jamie Malanowski‘s Marymount Manhattan class Writing for Magazines. Jamie was my editor in the Notebook section of Time magazine for two years and he asked me to share my ideas (and war stories) about the relationship between designer, editor and writer. I had never done this before, nor had I heard of any design peers talking to editorial journalism classes. It is a great topic and shows (once again) Jamie’s originality and insight.

I talked about the shared goals and  the dynamics of the art director/editor relationship. There was good discussion about using design, photography and illustration to make the page inviting, engage the reader and maximize the impact of the article.

thinking-with-type-ellen-lupton-paperback-cover-artOne reason I am posting now is to add some thoughts I had about this subject, post class discussion . One book I thought the class might want to look at is Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students, by Ellen Lupton (Princeton Architectural Press, 2004).

Another is The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. This might be of less practical interest to writers but as it is a typographic bible, written by a poet-turned-designer, I am mentioning here. I learned a lot from his thoughtful approach to reading words and how they should be used on a “page.” His basis is the spoken word. Now there is also The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web.

I wish I had asked how many in the class have blogs? Besides the obvious educational benefits to them as magazine writers, I think this is a perfect opportunity for them to deal with their words and design.

I also believe they should all be photographers and even know how to shoot video. That would have been a lively discussion.

This is a good place for me to archive links to relevant topics about magazines and journalism. I will start with these:

Bill Moyers: Buying the War
Bill Moyers: Stopping the Presses; David Simon
NYTimes: Online Publisher

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  • Kenneth's bookshelf: read

    The Success and Failure of Picasso
    Berger wrote this while Picasso was still alive. Quite interesting to read why this Marxist critic thinks the communist artist failed.
    Pig Earth
    First in the trilogy and my favorite. He reminds me of Louise Ehrdrich. I wrote and told him so.
    Once in Europa
    The last book in the trilogy. Not my favorite but a worthy conclusion.