OK to print (overcoming my fear)

Even after all this time, the process of publishing a quarterly magazine is hardly routine… 

I start each issue from nothing but an inkling of what it might become. Creating a new issue challenges me to see how I can take something so broadly stated as being “creative and curious” and focus it into something that is very “UPPERCASE”. 

I’m the publisher, editor and designer of UPPERCASE, so every headline, photo and minute detail has been filtered through my brain and my eyes… but by the time an issue is designed and off to print my hope is that it has become something greater than my personal expression. Each issue takes on its own personality through the content it carries. For example, issue #21 and its Surface Pattern Design Guide collected surface patterns from 100 different artists and so that issue is bursting with visual stimuli. Issue #20 explored a more abstract notion of broadcasting one’s ideas, so it was thoughtful and more typographic. 

The concept for issue #22 is one I’ve had in my mind for quite some time, but I was afraid to take it on. I wasn’t sure if my skills as art director and editor were good enough. Colour is probably the single most inspiring element for creatives in design, illustration and craft… it was overwhelming to know where to begin! Realizing that there’s never a better time than the present to push through self doubt, I decided that this would be the year to tackle the colour issue.

Like many graphic designers, I thrive on constraints. So I gave myself some rules to follow: 1) The issue would be organized Roy-G-Biv-style, going from red at the front of the book through to violet at the last page. 2) The arrangement of the content and structure of the magazine would stay the same as any other issue of UPPERCASE. 

With these guidelines in place, I assigned and curated content—sharing my art-directed rainbow concept with our contributors and featured artists along the way. I am so grateful to all the amazing contributors and featured artists who shared my colourful vision for this summer issue and turned in some spectacular work. Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing more about the design process and I'm working on a video as well.

Now that this issue is off to the printer, the bit of time between signing off on the proofs and receiving the printed results is just long enough for me to separate myself from the design… by the time I hold this issue in my hands for the first time as a physical object and flip through its spectrum of stories, it will have become something completely new, something outside of my head, something tangible made with ink on paper… something ready to be sent off into the world and find a home with you.


The mailing data for this issue will be finalized on Monday, so subscribe right away to be on the list! Use the code "brightsummer" for $10 off a subscription or renewal this week.