Week 2: Redesign and holiday weekend

Hooray for short weeks! Even though I love my job and everything I’ve been doing, I have to admit I am excited for a weekend back in Michigan. I am flying home for the Fourth of July, and get to have a whole weekend surrounded by family at my cottage. This will be the longest I’ve been home since I left for Europe, and I am looking forward to my mini-vacation.

But even though the workweek is only three days long this week, there is still plenty to do at the office.

I am at Good Housekeeping during an exciting time. We’re currently in the midst of a rebranding and revitalization of the magazine. Several new staff members came on board this year with the purpose to transform the print publication and online presence. The goal? Transform what was known as “Your Mother’s Magazine” in to a chic, clean and useful source for woman in their thirties and forties. Design is where it starts.

It’s an exciting time, for multiple reasons. One, we are just now truly coming to find our concrete style. Page templates have been slowly evolving over the past few months, so readers could gradually be introduced to the new look. This means that it’s exciting as a designer, because you have so many opportunities for creativity. You’re not stuck in the boxes of restrictions like you would be with an established style. You have the option to break rules, create new elements, experiment with design and see how they all work together cohesively. It’s a really great thing to see. In addition to getting the opportunity to experiment, it forces you to think creatively on your own two feet. I’m a firm believer that you cannot design in a vacuum- creative people should always be on the lookout for things that inspire them or that they hope to replicate. But when your reference material and back issues are considered obsolete, you have no choice but to be completely creative. It is your job to reinvent the page and the reference material only tells you what not to do. Figuring out what to do is all on your own.

The rebranding process has already been such a cool thing to witness. Seeing all of the departments work together to develop a style is so satisfying, and it’s absolutely amazing to know that I was there when it happened.

During this process, I’ve stayed busy with photo research (check out the September issue’s “Ask Heloise” page), updating the wall and observing photo shoots. While this week is short, there was still a lot of progress made within the art deparment. Next week, I’ll get a chance to start working hands-on staging photo shoots and designing pages. Eek! I can’t wait.

Happy Fourth of July!