Newsweek

Project Description

In late 2010, Newsweek, one of America’s most widely recognized newsmagazines, had merged with upstart news website The Daily Beast in an effort to revive the storied title, which had fallen on uncertain times. I joined Newsweek’s new creative director, Dirk Barnett, along with Tina Brown and her editors to help envision the redesign of the magazine. I ultimately stayed as his deputy during his tenure at the magazine, and, during a very scrutinized and often tumultuous era of Newsweek, we oversaw a broad rethink and redesign of the print issue, a rebuild of the art staff, a merging of The Daily Beast with Newsweek content, a launch of the iPad edition, and the signature Newsweek special issues. 

 

During my time at Newsweek, we covered (in no particular order) the Arab spring, the killing of Osama bin Laden, the 2012 Presidential race (and the primaries), the meltdown of Charlie Sheen, an earthquake and tsunami causing nuclear accidents in Japan, a royal wedding, a terrorist attack in Norway, Hurricane Sandy, the Treyvon Martin shooting, an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya, and the death of Steve Jobs. It was a unique, invaluable experience that taught me the value of thinking frenetically, and what it felt like to work in the spotlight (note: we did some really great things that got attention, and some really weird things that got attention).


Role:
Design director


Skills:
Team lead
Strategy
Art direction
Design
Infographics


Credits:
Dirk Barnett, Creative director
Scott Hall, Photo director
Tina Brown, Editor
Sean Noyce, ipad art director
Erich Nagler, Associate art director
Sara McKay, Senior art director
Rob Di Ieso, Assistant art director
Vanessa Saba, Designer
Kristen Ren, Designer
Erick Fletes, Contributing ipad designer
Jason Arias, Contributing ipad designer



The Last Print Issue

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

On October 18, 2012, in a move that shook the media industry, Newsweek’s parent company announced that the magazine would cease print publication at the end of the year and transition to an all-digital format. While the magazine has since changed ownership and returned to print, the image of a “Last Print Issue” of Newsweek became a cultural moment in itself—a physical symbol of the schism in the media landscape as old titles struggle to define themselves amongst new startups in an increasingly digital-first world. 

 

The last print issue was a celebration of Newsweek and it’s place in America’s history, and I consider it an honor to have lead the art department as design director for this issue. Newsweek brought mainstream attention to the counterculture movement of the 60’s, aggressively covered the Watergate scandal in the 70’s, and broke the Monica Lewinsky story in the 90’s. We dug deep into the Newsweek’s archives—its stories, reporters, subjects, ephemera, and office culture—and composed a graceful, final sendoff honoring its nearly 80 years in circulation.


Role:
Design director


Skills:
Department head
Art direction
Design


Credits:
Katherine Harris, Photo director
Gabe Doppelt, Special projects editor
Vanessa Saba, Lead designer
Sean Noyce, ipad art director
Rob Di Ieso, Assistant art director
Jarrod Barretto, Contributing designer
James Hughes, Contributing designer


 

Newsweek Redesign

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

In late 2010 and early 2011, I worked with Newsweek’s new creative director, Dirk Barnett, and editor Tina Brown to redesign and refresh the storied magazine for a new era. Under new ownership and with a new cast of voices as bylines, our challenge was to build a visual language that reflected Ms. Brown’s vision for Newsweek—straddling the line between the classic and modern, and the serious and thoughtful journalism Newsweek was synonymous with. 

 

We began by designating more space and sections for photojournalism—rather than thinking of photography as an accessory to a story, photography was a part of the story. The addition of white space, modern typefaces, and bold graphic accents allowed the magazine to feel breathable, more elegant and less tedious. A back of book culture section, “Omnivore” was introduced to broaden Newsweek’s cultural coverage, and a front of book “NewsBeast” section injected the Daily Beast-like energy of short, pithy news coverage. On the cover, a cleaner, more stripped-down logotype (with tweaks made by the creator of Newsweek’s original logotype, Jim Parkinson) modernized the mag for newsstand appeal.


Role:
Art Director, Designer


Skills:
Strategy
Art direction
Design


Credits:
Dirk Barnett, Creative director
Scott Hall, Photo director
Tina Brown, Editor



Features


Databeast


Mad Men Special Issue

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

For the return of AMC’s Mad Men series, which took a 17-month hiatus, Newsweek made a splash with a special “Mad Men” themed issue in the early spring of 2012. We developed our visual direction by studying issues from the early to mid-1960’s, reinterpreting the look and voice of that era with modern material. 

 

The issue was a boon for advertisers (and our ad sales department), as it provided them with an opportunity to hop on the Mad Men bandwagon and showcase their custom designed throwback ads. 

 

Starting with an exclusive photoshoot of actors and the set as the cover story, the feature well continued with stories about the state of today’s advertising industry, and a piece by Eleanor Clift—a Newsweek reporter of that era—with her own first-hand account of the behind the scenes office culture and gender politics of the 60’s.  


Role:
Art Director


Skills:
Art Direction
Design


Credits:
Dirk Barnett, Creative director
Scott Hall, Photo director
Sean Noyce, ipad art director
Abigail Smith, Contributing lead designer
Jarrod Barretto, Contributing designer
Rob Di Ieso, Assistant art director
Vanessa Saba, Designer