Art Direction

I get to work with talented people everyday.
Here's some of the amazing stuff we've done.
 

THE PEOPLE ISSUE 2015
One of my favorite Reader issues every year is the People Issue, stories about Chicagoans in their own words. 2015 was our fifth year and the design was simplified to let the wonderful stories and amazing photography stand out. Check out the micro site we set up here. Photos by Jeff Marini, Lucy Hewett, John Sturdy, Bill Whitmire, and Andrea Bauer

Cover photo by Jeff Marini

PeopleIssue2015-ipad.jpg

Video by John Sturdy and Kevin Kujawa

 

BEST OF CHICAGO + PAUL OCTAVIOUS
Paul was on a photo retreat in upstate New York without cellular reception when he shot the cover photos and was MIA for a few days. We finally got in touch two days before deadline and, good news, he shot everything, but—the bad news—he didn't have time for the main cover. (panic ensues for 5 minutes) I took a deep breath and improvised with one of his covers, a garnish toothpick flag, and Photoshop. (exhale)

 

THE READER’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY
We wanted to do something spectacular for the Reader's 40th anniversary, so I blew the entire freelance budget on a cake from Alliance Bakery for a two-part cover—a pristine cake on the “A Side”, destroyed cake on “B Side”. I’ve never been so scared to move a cake in my life. Photos by Andrea Bauer

 

GTW + PARADISO
It’s extremely rare to have the subjects of two different features photographed back to back by the same the photographer, so I wanted to take advantage of it. Photos by John Sturdy

 

PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL 2012—2015
Where's Waldo-style four years in a row? Why not? Illustrations by Jason Wyatt Frederick. 2015 is a Mad Magazine-style fold-in.

 

LOCAL GIFT-GUIDE 2015
This was the first year we were able to gather all the gifts at the same time. I relied on lighting and shadows to tie everything together. Photos by Yours Truly 

 

HOW I STOPPED WORRYING AND STARTED TO LOVE MARKETING PROPAGANDA
I only had a couple of days to put together a short marketing/branding video (over a print deadline) so we raided my portfolio. Editing by Becky Frass

 

SINGLES + BOB NANNA
The theme for the Reader's 2015 Valentine’s Day issue was “singles”. Photos by Colleen Durkin; styling by Agga B. Raya; props and set design by Doug Johnston and Colleen Durkin. The last two photos are from a 2014 Valentine's Day music feature about Bob Nanna of Braid writing love songs which Colleen also shot. 

 

I WILL NOT USE THE N WORD
This was an exercise in the priming effect and was inspired by Louis CK's stand-up bit about being offended by "the n word". Besides, this was shot in my kitchen and I wasn't about to write that word on a wall in my house a few dozen times. 

 

LOVE: IT’S COMPLICATED
The email threads related to the Reader's 2016 Valentine’s Day issue were definitely “NSFW” for most offices. (Tip: do NOT do an image search for a “fleshlight” because you will see things you can’t unsee.) Cover illustration by Katie Carey

 

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