The last issue of “OC METRO”, a new era

Getting ready to prepare the new chapter of my career, here’s a sneak peek of the last issue of “OC METRO” before we officially become “OC Register Metro.” A recent acquisition of Churm Media by Freedom Communications Inc., owners of Orange County Register, has put a new spin on the magazine. Our new mission is Inspiration and Leadership.
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Feature story layout 3-2011

I probably should have marked this with ‘mock’ or ‘concept’ because as you may have noticed this doesn’t actually appear in the 3-2011 issue of OCMETRO. What’s that? You don’t have the March issue of OCMETRO adorning your coffee table. For shame! I digress. Sometimes the limitations of dense stock photo heavy pages is the bland, “I’ve seen this before” quality you get with the available choices. So, when a gem like the above comes along the opportunity is not to be missed… or so I thought. Silly me. Not living in the ‘I’m the king, me, me, me’ world I wish I lived in as a creative director, there’s always someone higher on the food chain that has the power to veto, and veto they did. Luckily concept can live on in blog. HUZZAH!

Portfolio: 10-11-07 OC Life: Stage Layout

10-11-07 OCMETRO OC Life LayoutTitle: 10-11-07 OC Life: Stage Layout

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO BUSINESS Magazine

Program(s) Used: Phototshop & Quark

Time Span: 1 Hour

About: Prior to the redesign of OCMETRO BUSINESS magazine, the section OC LIFE was the place to get on the pulse of what’s going on in Orange County, California. This particular layout was was written for a review of the Slidebar Rock N Roll Café.

Designer Notes: Early in my career at Churm Media, as a Graphic Designer (Now Art Director), I played things safe, by the book. I soon learned that i had a lot of insightful, fresh new ideas to lend to the editorial pages that had been assigned to me, whereas previously i was strictly designing ads. This was one of my early chances to show the company something new, something they’d shyed away from before, for whatever reason. Large images are ALWAYS eye catching, so with my newfound responsibility I set out to make a name for myself in the staff boxes and directories of Churm Media and OCMETRO BUSINESS magazine.

Portfolio: 1-08 Feature Story Spread (ADHD)

Title: 1-08 Feature Story Spread (ADHD)

Client: Churm Media, in association with OC Family Magazine & Inland Empire Family Magazine

Program(s) Used: Quark & Photoshop

Time Span: 3-6 Hours

About: A small feature story (full story on ocfamily.com) that was run in OC Family magazine.

Designer Notes: Point. Set. Match. I wanted to design something fun, but serious. I think the content speaks for itself, thanks to the editor Lynn Armitage, and the layout lent itself to the imagery making it fun to read, even though the subject matter is anything but. Children’s health issues are always a huge concern for parents and i wanted them to get a sense of connection with the story, not just pages of information, but something showing that there’s people out there who care and have dealt with this issue too.

Portfolio: 12-07 Feature Story Spread

Title: 12-07 Feature Story Spread (Annual Family Photography Contest)

Client: Churm Media, in association with OC Family Magazine & Inland Empire Family Magazine

Program(s) Used: Quark and Photoshop

Time Span: 4-8 Hours

About: Throughout the year OC Family and Inland Empire Family magazines run a feature called Picture perfect, which collects submissions from readers of their children’s photographs. Come December of every year they run an annual feature for the winners. Read, and see, the entire 2007 story on ocfamily.com

Designer Notes: My idea was to make this layout look like a worn family scrapbook or photo album. Seeing as this was an annual feature purely dealing with reader submitted photographs, i wanted to make it look fun and inviting. I used a parchment paper background and an image border with frayed edges, to simulate those wacky scissor cuts that people do now. End result, i’m happy with.

Portfolio: 2-08 Feature Story (Full)

Title: 2-08 Feature Story (Full)

Client: Churm Media, in association with OC Family Magazine & Inland Empire Family Magazine

Program(s) Used: Quark, Photoshop and Illustrator

Time Span: 4-8 hours

About: Feature story layout for the OC Family’s annual travel issue (February). The full story can be read here, on ocfamily.com.

Designer Notes: The challenge with this feature story was to really break the boundaries of Churm Media’s regular layouts for OC Family & Inland Empire Family magazines. I tried to look at it from the point of view of being tired of the same old thing. Using a mix of stock photography and some great photographs taken by the writer, and then Executive Editor, Craig Reem, i was able to really step out on my own and land a great layout design. The push of deadline nipping at my heels was always a reminder as well of how it IS possible to churn out great product when deadlines are creeping up around the corner

Full story layout after the jump

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Portfolio: 12-07 Cover Story Layout Spread

Title: 12-07 Cover Story Layout Spread

Client: Churm Media, in association with OC Family Magazine & Inland Empire Family Magazine

Program(s) Used: Quark, Photoshop

Time Span: 4-5 Hours to completion (entire layout (8 pages))

About: Every year Churm Media puts out it’s annual issue in OC Family & Inland Empire Family Magazines. This year was the “20 Best Totally Terrific Toys”. Yes, I know, that’s two too many adjectives, but what are you going to do? What client wants, client gets.

Designer Notes: This entire layout was quite the piece of work for photoshop clipping masks! Boy do i love still having to be lulled down by the back and forth of Quark to photoshop… when will they learn that InDesign is the bridge between that gap! But, what doesn’t kill us as designers, will make us always remember the golden rules…. never, EVER, EVER use Papyrus in your designs. You have (or should have) and entire library of fonts, GET CREATIVE! And also, learn from our clients blunders. By the time i finished this layout i knew the intimate ins and outs of the photoshop pen tool. I even “took it out for a romantic seafood dinner… and never called it again!”

Champ Kind: I will take Dorothy Manstooth out to a nice seafood dinner and NEVER call her again!
Wes Mantooth: Dorothy Mantooth is a Saint!
Ron Burgundy: Hey, let’s leave the mothers out of this.

Portfolio: 12-07 Feature Story Spread

Title: 12-07 Feature Story Spread

Client: Churm Media, in association with OC Family Magazine & Inland Empire Family Magazine

Program(s) Used: Quark, Photoshop

Time Span: 2-4 Hours

About: OC Family & Inland Empire Family Magazine’s ran a special “Fire Feature Story” after the huge fires in Southern California this past year (2007). One of Churm Media’s writers (Pictures in the spread) was directly affected by the fire and was one of the families that had to evacuate their home. Luckily everyone was safe and she still writes for the magazine today.

Designer Notes: The text overlaid over a full truck spread was something new for OC Family Magazine, at least in my time at Churm Media. I wanted to really capture a readers eye as they were thumbing through the pages of the magazine. Great photography and subject matter really helped to pull this whole spread together.