When it comes to excitement for publishing students, it doesn’t get much better than chats with industry leaders at Time, Inc. Unless, of course, those industry leaders bring with them some game-changing concepts and cutting-edge technology to play with. Students in Magazine Production and Design (PUB 607) were treated to exactly that when they were visited by guest speakers Shira Gordon, Art Director, and Ron Redfern, Corporate Production Manager, at Time, Inc.
Gordon, whose job involves working with both print and new media, began the talk with a presentation on digital publishing for the web, tablet and mobile. She touched on the challenges faced by designers, who now have to make one design work for multiple sizes and shapes of platforms, and also highlighted the vast number of opportunities available to those who are willing to take advantage of them. To illustrate what can be done with a savvy hand and the latest technology, she whipped out her iPad and let the class flip through some of her designs. Two of the more popular ones involved food carnivals – complete with cheering cupcakes – and a spice advertisement featuring a hunky spokesman with a “swipe off” apron feature.
Speaking after all the tech hype, Redfern reminded the students that exciting things are being done in print as well. From tiny working television screens inset on pages to twirling pop-up dancers, the print handouts got as much of a reaction from the students as the digital experiences. Like Gordon, Redfern acknowledged the challenges for contemporary professionals in the print business, but he too emphasized the number of opportunities still emerging in the field and made a point to say that even in the digital world, print is still the central focus of most publishers.
For students in the class, the take-away from the evening’s talks was that far from fading away, the magazine publishing industry continues to offer a place for creative, motivated individuals. Maybe even for future new-grads.
-Jaidree Braddix is a first semester student in the MS in Publishing program.