Parsons re:D

In conjunction with Parson’s brand redesign, there was a chance to redesign their annual alumni magazine, Regarding Design. And considering the reach of the magazine within the art and design community, it was an excited project. Working closely with the Editor in Chief, the magazine received a photographic and typographic overhaul, a new approach to feature articles and departments, and a new page size to help it stand out in a stack of mail. The 2015 issue featured Michelle Obama’s collaboration with the Parsons fashion community, an interview with Marc Jacobs on his approach to design, and Paula Scher’s new identity for the university.

Parsons reD Magazine Cover

Animated image showing the creation of a the magazine cover
The concept behind the cover was to create three dimensional elements of the magazine redesign and, working with the delightful Martin Seck, we wanted to do the whole cover “in camera”. I laser cut and printed all of the component pieces and then built it while we adjusted the lighting and documented the process. In the end, other than adding the masthead, the final photo was used as is without need of any photo retouching.
Magazine table of contents
Magazine spread with lots of small images
Image of Michelle Obama in front of student fashion designs
Spread from ReD Magazine showing a typographic wall from the Parsons school
Throughout the magazine, silhouetted photographs broke their frames and type came to the edge of the page to create dynamic layouts and reference the boundary-breaking practices of the school.
Cover of ReD Magazine showing a stack of various materials from around Parsons
For the 2016 issue’s theme of materials, the cover reflects a “core sample” of all the materials that going into making at Parsons. I scoured the university for discarded and recycled materials to create the strata that represents the school from traditional making practices to modern ideas of digital tools and sustainable use.
Spread from ReD Magazine showing small photos of Frank Gehry and various students
Spread from ReD Magazine with different materials arranged in a decorative pattern
Magazine spread showing two women and a collection of small material samples
Magazine spread featuring images from the maker lab
Like the cover, many of the feature-opener spreads were made by collecting sustainable materials from around the university and photographing the final compositions. These assemblages gave the whole issue a tactile quality and kept the central theme of the issue front and center in readers’ minds.
A behind the scenes look at the process that went into making the levels of materials for the cover photograph.