Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Blog Address

This blog is closed now, so visit our current one at:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We're Making A Move...

...over to the new and improved SPD site! So update your bookmarks and RSS feeders and whatever else there is out there these days that us old folks have yet to learn about and get on over to the new home of SPD Student Outreach: All the posts from here will be there too (though some links are in the process of being fixed). We won't be updating the blog here any further, so click on over now. See ya there!

Monday, September 8, 2008

2009 Student Competition Update

The posters and entry forms are still in progress, but it's never too early to start working on your entries ... there's major money, prizes and an internship at stake here! So to get you going, here's some information and inspiration ...

As the First Place winner in last year's competition (the winning entry seen above), Paul Johnson of Montana State University not only won the $2500 Adobe Scholarship in honor of B.W. Honeycutt, but also an internship at National Geographic Adventure and the Adobe Creative Suite software. Second place, third place, and three honorable mention winners also won money, software and internships at major magazines. You could be one of them in this year's competition, so here's what you need to know to get started:

1. CHOOSE: Select a project from one of the five categories listed below (tech, entertainment, outdoors, city/regional, and news).
2. DESIGN: Create the first 4 pages of a story (two spreads) on the project you choose. Each page measures 8"w x 10"h, so a spread is 16"w x 10"h. Original photography or illustration is not required, but welcome if appropriate. You may enter more than one design in the same or different categories. SPD Student Members get their first 3 entries for free.
3. SUBMIT: Either printed material or electronic files as follows.

Printed Material: Full-size spreads, not reduced copies. DO NOT MOUNT THE WORK TO ANY TYPE OF BOARD. Tape a copy of your completed entry form (entry forms will be available soon) to the BACK of each submission. Staple the spreads together in the upper left-hand corner. (Slides will NOT be accepted).

Electronic PDF: Burn all submissions to a CD. Entries should be full size, press quality, 300 dpi, PDF files (all fonts embedded). It is ok to put multiple entries on one CD. Place your name somewhere on each spread in 4 pt type. Include a printed copy of the entry form for each entry. Mark clearly the name of the school and student(s)'s last name(s) on CD.
4. SEND: Mail all entries with completed entry and payment forms by March 2, 2009 to:
The Society of Publication Designers
27 Union Square West, Suite 207
New York, NY 10003
Please read this over carefully and stay within the guidelines. SPD reserves the right to disqualify any miscategorized or incomplete entries.

This publication deals with the ever-changing landscape of technology. From gadgets to processes, it reviews and informs an audience of men and women in their early twenties. New products are a huge part of what this magazine is and slick electronics are the candy for the reader.

• Project: Gear - choose a product
• Headline text: What makes the (product) so great?
• Subhead text: Everyone from Hollywood to Main St. USA can't/couldn't get enough of the (product). With long waits to buy it online, and every celebrity clamoring to show theirs off, is the (product) really worth it?
• Byline text: By Nicky Anastasi
• Design the first two spreads of a feature that focuses on a product, new or old. It can be anything from the newest in home theater to the resurgence of the old turntable. Think about what people would find interesting. Have they heard enough about the iPhone? Are they tired of laptops? Think outside the box. You could even create your own product. Remember, you don't actually have to write the story, but use real names if there are actual products used, for example, pointing to a photo of Canon's newest digital camera.
This new publication targets young people from college age to young professionals. A clever, sometimes sharp-tongued magazine, it focuses on music, movies and television, with reviews, investigative stories, interviews and reader polls. This magazine isn't afraid to poke fun at the subjects it profiles.

• Project: Celebrity Interview - choose an actor/actress
• Headline text: The headline should either be the subject's name or include the subject's name in it. (example: "Jack Black" or "Jack Black Still Laughing")
• Subhead text: The actor/actress finally opens up and tells how he/she plans to stay on top.
• Byline text: By Kirsten Binington
• Design the first two spreads of a feature that would appear in this magazine. There must be story text, but it does not have to begin on the first spread. Find great photos of your chosen artist, but think beyond the expected. Look for baby pictures, a great illustration, or maybe there's a way to illustrate him/her with type instead of an image. It's to your advantage not to choose your friend's band or someone too obscure. Think celebrity. Remember, you don't actually have to write the story, but use the band's real name if you have display type, for example, pointing to a photo of Weezer.
This publication is a must-read for people obsessed with the outdoors and the lifestyle associated with it. It covers destinations, gear, activities, and people. The topics range from hiking and biking to scuba diving or mountain climbing. If it's an outside activity, chances are this magazine has covered it.

• Project: Adventures - choose an outdoor activity
• Headline text: Deep Secrets
• Subhead text: The 10 greatest out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten-path destinations to (activity here).
• Byline text: By Matthew David
• Design the first two spreads of a feature on your chosen subject. The story will focus on places to go to participate in the chosen activity. The idea behind it is to give readers information on destinations that they never heard of or have never thought about. It's really an insider's guide to the best of the best for any particular sport. Look for striking photos of a destination or person performing the activity. Or, collage your own photos to create an interesting piece of art that gives the reader a feel for the sport. The text does not have to begin on the first spread, but it certainly can. Remember, you don't actually have to write the story, but use real names of sports and participants if you have display type, for example, pointing to a photo of deep sea fishing for marlin or biking in the smoky mountains of West Virginia.
This magazine is an established city/regional publication. It covers everything from food to politics to sports. If it's happening in the area, this magazine will tell you about it. The publication is known for its great use of typography, stunning photography, and creative design.

• Project: City/Regional story - choose a city/region.
• Headline text: Best of (city/region)
• Subhead text: The hottest BBQ...the strongest martini...the greasiest fries...the most beautiful people...the greenest park...
• Byline text: By the editors
• Design the first two spreads of this annual guide. You should include a short intro paragraph followed by lots of short items on all different topics, anything that would be covered in a city/regional magazine. Some general categories to consider are eating, nightlife, shopping, home services, health and spa, fun and games. Think about ways to create sidebars that would relate to these types of articles. Also feel free to include illustrations or icons where necessary. Remember, you don't actually have to write the story, but use the real names of places if you have display type, for example, pointing to a photo of Buckingham Palace.
This edgy news magazine intended for college students has hard-hitting interviews, profiles and feature stories about current events.

• Project: Politics
• Headline text: Time For Change
• Subhead text: January signals a new era for our nation. An inside look at how this historic moment will touch each of our lives.
• Byline text: By Isabella Gardner
• Design the first two spreads of a feature on this topic: This story deals with the fact that as we head into 2009 and beyond, our country will never again be the same. For the good or the bad, we Americans have started down a new road. This article looks to the future to see what might lay ahead. The artwork could be presidential or common-man. It could be global or extremely local. Think of innovative ways to approach the story and let that help dictate what kind of art you will use. The text does not have to begin on the first spread, but it certainly can. Remember, you don't actually have to write the story, but use the real names of people/places if you have display type.

We'll post some Frequently Asked Questions in the coming months, so if you've got any questions, let us know at

Friday, September 5, 2008

Come Get Your Fill (of ideas of course!)

Here's your chance to get an inside peek at how magazines actually come together. Come armed with your curiosity and questions! (But leave the portfolios at home please.)

Our fall Pub(lications) Crawl is a day-long event where you will get to tour the offices of 2 awesome magazines (see the Tour Options below). We'll start with check-in in the Union Square area at 9:30 am (exact location will be given to you with your rsvp confirmation email) and then it's off to the offices! Which ones? Take your pick:

The Details:
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008
9:30 am - 3:30 pm (end time is approximate)
We'll start in the Union Square area, exact location to be given when you RSVP.

FREE for all SPD Student Members! SPD Professional Members pay $10 and all others pay $15. (Remember, it's only $25 to join as a Student Member. You'll have the chance to become a member at the event and then your entry will be free.)

Wanna come? You must RSVP by midnight Tuesday, September 23 by emailing us at In your email, list your name, your school, if you're an SPD Student or Professional Member, and your 1st, 2nd and 3rd tour preferences (choose from Tours A, B, C and D as described above). (More details on our RSVP confirmation emails here.)

Be sure to bring with you a photo I.D. for access to office buildings; money for your entry fee (if applicable), lunch and possible subway travel; umbrella/raingear and comfortable shoes since we'll be walking to the different offices; notebook for taking notes; and a bag since you will be getting handouts and probably magazines. Leave the portfolios at home this time ... we'll be conducting a Portfolio Workshop in early November where you'll have a chance to show it off.

The Fine Print: Space is limited so RSVP asap! Your tour preferences are just that; in other words, they are not guaranteed. Tours are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis ... so the earlier you RSVP, the better chance you have of getting your top choice. This also means that if you are part of a large group registering, you may not all get assigned the same tour.

Questions? Email 'em to us at
Illustration by Michael Camarra

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It’s That Time of Year Again

Is it really already September? Well, even if you’re not excited about being back at school, you should definitely be excited about what we have in store for you this fall.

First off is our Pub(lications) Crawl on Thursday, Sept 25. We’ve got 8 awesome magazines offering up tours of their offices in this day-long event (it’s worth asking your professor for the day off, trust us). Details are still being finalized, so be sure to keep checking back for all the info and how to sign up.

Secondly, you’ll definitely want to come to our fall speaker panel on Thursday, October 30. We’ll be explaining and discussing how those pages you see actually come together ... everything from brainstorming with editors to working with illustrators to photo shoots, and all the stuff in between.

Third is a new event we’re putting together: a Portfolio Workshop. Not only will you have the chance to get your design portfolios reviewed, but we’ll also be giving you tips on what you should do and—perhaps more importantly—what you shouldn’t. The point of the day is not for you to bring in a perfect portfolio but to leave with one ... or at least the knowledge to get there. We’ve yet to set a date for this event, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do.

So ... 3 great events in 1 fall semester! Sounds too good to be true, right? But wait, there’s more! Check out our new SPD website: It’s brimming with information and inspiration. Be sure to add the blog there to your daily reading list, and look for more great additions to the site over the next few months, including the opportunity for your own personal profile page where you can create an online portfolio and more (we’ll be posting more about this and the new student membership options in the coming weeks). And in fact, this blog will be moving over to that site soon, but keep coming back here for now for all the latest details and info.

Hope your Labor Day Weekend is a refreshing one and best of luck in the new school year!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Report from the Frontlines

Wondering how our Student Competition winners are doing in their summer internships? Well, first-honorable-mention winner Jason Sfetko took a break from his busy days at Martha Stewart Living to give you a little glimpse into his summer so far:

Hello. I recently received a SPD student award for my piece on Amy Winehouse. I was extremely excited to win because that meant I’d receive a summer internship at Martha Stewart Living and be one step closer to living my dream as a publication designer.

I started at Martha Stewart Living on June 9th and that very day began designing layouts that would appear in October and November issues. I was ready to hit the ground running when I got there but feared that I’d just be filing papers. I appreciate the hands-on experience because you really can’t
get a true feel for what it’s like to work at a magazine unless you’re living it.

My typical day at Martha starts at 9:30 a.m. and goes until 6:30 p.m. I get an hour lunch, wherein I usually check out Bryant Park or hit up Cosi for a sandwich—both of which are conveniently a 30-second walk from the office. In addition to designing, I’ve gone on a few photo shoots—everything from shooting food in the studio to shooting on location in Central Park—and have met some really cool and highly talented people. It’s nice to be able to meet these people who are really inspired and motivated by design and just watch them collaborate and make a blank page come alive. It really pushes you to be a better designer and think more creatively.

Other than the internship, I’ve stayed busy with all the things this city has to offer including concerts, museums and checking out some great artwork right on the streets. I’m also planning on hitting up a Yankee game this summer to see the Stadium one last time before its gone.

Thanks to Jason for the insight! Wish you could be doing that? Then enter our Student Design Competition this year. We’ll be posting more details in mid-to-late August.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Portfolio: Reviewed

Lots of great advice was flying around the Village Copier last night as a bunch of you sacrificed a lovely summer evening for Portfolio Reviews. More than a few left saying they were excited to get home and rework some of their stuff. AND we had snacks. A successful evening all around, we’d say.

Thanks to all of you who came, and a big thanks to our 7 reviewers!

That’s it for our summer events, but we’re busy planning out a great fall schedule which will include MORE portfolio reviews, so keep coming back here as we set the dates and details. And as always, if you have any ideas or suggestions for things you’d like to see us do, don’t hesitate to send ’em to us! Or reply to this post in the comments below.