The theme of the new edition of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine is “The Secret Life of Ideas”—so it seems appropriate to offer a glimpse into the “secret life” of the issue’s cover.
It all started back in February, when Alumni Magazine editor-in-chief Van Jensen and I were planning out the next issue’s feature stories and thinking about the often-veiled messiness of innovation. Perhaps subconsciously inspired by our own not-always-super-tidy workspaces (ahem), we landed on the image of a desk littered with tools and doodles and scrap paper—all the practical elements that aren’t evident once a project has reached its final, polished form. Around the same time, we’d also been hankering for a cover that incorporated some layered, dimensional elements and hand-lettering.
And so, because we’re always up for a diversion from the endlessly-blinking cursors on blank white screens we tend to spend most of our days staring down, we decided to stage a little mock-up. It was rough—really rough!—but it gave us something to send to our designers at Metaleap Creative. I seem to remember that email involved a lot of exclamation points (on our end, at least). Anyway, here’s how it looked, fresh out of our brains:
Yikes. Please disregard the completely preposterous fake equations written out on the pink paper; there’s a reason I work with words and not numbers.
Metaleap was fortunately not frightened by our feeble attempts at art direction (or, if they were, they did a good job of muffling their screams). After some fine-tuning and prop-collection, they recruited the seriously awesome Josh Meister to photograph their much much fancier setup and mega-talented designer Matthew Allen to hand-draw the masthead, cut-lines, notepad sketches and all the rest.
Yeah. Just a tiny upgrade. (If you’re wondering, the garish pink notepad has been banished back to the hellhole from which it came—i.e., my desk somewhere, possibly under some old magazines or meeting notes, I don’t know, I should probably clean this mess up.)