Two weeks ago I began an internship at August Home Publishing. I think I’ve learned more about layout and design in the past two weeks than I have in the past two years. Doug Appleby is the Assistant Art Director for Workbench magazine. He is the greatest designer I’ve ever worked with and for. He always knows how to push me to do more with my design, and his ideas never fail to work. Although, unlike professors I’ve had, he doesn’t tell me exactly what to change, he inspires me to see what I do and don’t like and we end up agreeing on what should be changed. Check out his website. He has some great photography.

Workbench magazine is one of five that August Home publishes. It is the only magazine that was not started by August Home, but was bought a few years ago. It is the only one of the woodworking magazines they publish that is changing their target audience to the 25-40, male AND female crowd.

Workbench is different now, because its look and feel is very similar to what you see on TLC. Before this switch in audiences, something like putting type on a vertical path or something on an angle would set people on edge… and I’ve heard that it sometimes still does. But to design for Workbench is to really understand the audience of younger male/females.

Something besides all horizontal text, white-bread photography and cluttered pages is needed to reach this audience. So, white-space, unique info-graphics, and innovative spreads are my best friend this Summer. My job is to redesign about fifteen articles that have been previously published in the past 4-5 years. These will be in a new book coming out in January of home-improvement articles about home storage. I’ve got two articles 90% done.

The design process at Workbench is a push and pull to go further with design and really get in touch with the audience, and also uphold the tradition of the magazines at August Home Publishing. I can’t wait for my first layout meeting with the art directors and the company president. It shall be interesting.

Oh, I also met Senator Obama two days ago. I shook his hand-how cool is that?!?! Check out my photo album from the Obama Rally!

2 Comments

  1. Thomas Jones
    Posted June 26, 2008 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Doug Appleby is the Art Director or Workbench. I think Kim Downing is. Doug is an Assistant Art Director. Check the masthead.

  2. Posted June 26, 2008 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for catching that, Thomas. Do you subscribe to Workbench? I see you are from Des Moines.

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