As Art Editor and Art Director for Reed Magazine Issue 64, I was able to combine my love of art with my OCD editing tendencies (I had way too much fun spending hours picking out fonts and making sure the leading was just right)Í I also took on the challenge to learn software I'd never used before, compile the entire magazine from cover to cover, and, not to mention, pick out the rad art on said cover as well as inside the magazine.
While the actual design work--choosing the right fonts, page layouts, cover design, etc--was rewarding, I have to say the favorite part of my job was writing the "Designers' Note." I was given the task of writing a note to our readers, explaining the basis of this particular issue's design.
Along with my design team, we decided to base it on the cover art, pictured above, which is titled "Piger Henricus" by Erik Madsen. Deliciously abstract and in your face, his art appealed to my love of modernism. Not only does it look cool, but its subject matter is alchemy. With that in mind, here is the full Designers' Note for Reed Magazine Issue 64:
What is alchemy?
Thoughts of the ambitious scientists who sought the Philosopher’s Stone, the Universal Solvent, and, more much more famously, gold, come to mind. More specifically, these scientists searched for the method of changing base metals into gold—certainly a goal that’s hard to attain. Of course, none of them succeeded. We have.
We designed this issue of Reed Magazine to give you literary gold. The piece from Erik Madsen’s “Piger Henricus” series acts as a dynamic amalgam for the literature in this year’s issue. A Piger Henricus, more commonly known as an Athanor, is the self-fueling furnace an alchemist would use to maintain the heat required for alchemical digestion. In essence, the crisp, clear, and modern vibrancy you see here is the result of our own literary furnace that has churned out the best reflection of our dedication to the finest literature possible.
Evolving from our roots in California’s Silicon Valley, it is our desire to demonstrate a universal and cohesive response to such a dripping, pouring, and splashing of cultures and personalities, talents and technology.
Pollyanna Macchiano, Oksana Sinelnik, Andrew Cole, Ellen James, Montgomery Mullen