A simple, quick, easy and cheap self-promo for photographer Wallace Merritt. Working off a graphic theme of his square images, he didn’t want or need the expense of a larger press run, so we printed them in-house and hand-folded them.
One of our missions at Tribe magazine was not to produce a garden variety publication. To that end it was my great pleasure to encourage every photographer and illustrator we used to push the boundaries of creativity. The same was true for my in-house design team, both Dan Rosen and Jennifer Miller worked with me to come up with fun and sometimes challenging graphic treatments. A few examples are posted here, such as using scanned film strips from 1950’s stage movies for border treatments on an article on burlesque, to taped collages, to using scrabble tiles for title typography.
Communicating the funkiness of the city was our joy and one measure of our success could be judged by the large number of awards we received for our work.
Many years ago, I was brought in to be creative director for a start up magazine. When I was enlisted, the magazine was to be called “City Buzz“, which I was not to keen on, nor did I like its Logo. We published a small sample issue to encourage investors and advertisers. The original cover is below. As we were nearing completion of our premier issue, our publisher finally was convinced and decided to change the name at the 11th hour to Tribe Magazine. It wasn’t my choice, but I liked it better than City Buzz. The only problem was that we had finished most of the design and had created a cover illustration designed to grab attention (Hard not to notice a sexy 100 ft tall woman striding through downtown New Orleans). We were going to create posters to plaster all over town, but the underlying theme of her costume reflected a bee theme (City Buzz… get it?) and it was too late to redo all that.
The last minute change proved to not be a hinderance at all and excitement mounted. In our early days we were named of the “Top Five new magazines of the Year” by Samir Huzney’s Consumer Magazine Report in the same class with JFK, Jrs George Magazine and we went on to worldwide distribution and won bucketloads of other awards.
One of my favorite examples of editorial design. This special Jazzfest issue of Tribe Magazine featured excerpts from the autobiography of Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. I was also the photographer for this story. The logo treatment for Tribe changed with each issue and this one won the Art Director and Design Association award that year for best Magazine Cover.
I got to work with the fabulously talented photographer Shannon Brinkman on her seven year photo project on Preservation Hall. Her photographs of this legendary jazz club in New Orleans were so fresh and full of energy and included a large number of unique images shot in a diamond oriented format. Our job was to edit the work and design a dummy version of her dream book to pitch to publishers. One aspect that seemed logical to explore was using this diamond shape and the jazzy theme in the design. I am happy to say that the book was eventually published by LSU Press, although they did abandon most of my type treatments.
The New Orleans Photo Alliance put together a group exhibition of photographers for a show that opened in New Orleans and then travelled to Spain. The work was curated by Owen Murphy and myself. For the show graphics we wanted to represent photography in the abstract instead of a single photographic image… hence the graphic treatment of the view through a camera viewfinder.
The exhibit went on the receive a bunch of press, both in New Orleans and in Tarragona, Spain.