All my digital cheerleading aside, I must admit there’s nothing quite like seeing your name in print. There’s an intangible quality to the medium that’s predicated, at last in part, on how relatively difficult and expensive it is to get large numbers of printed items in the hands of actual consumers.
Take magazines, for example. In this digital age, their strange, delayed distribution often makes them feel like time capsules from a world that’s perpetually six to eight weeks behind our own. And yet, when one’s name appears in one… then it’s a thrilling moment, there’s no doubt.
This month, my name appears in two magazines, and I have to admit, both times gave me a thrill. They’re both design publications, of course — Reader’s Digest still refuses to run my heartwarming story of how typography saved me when I fell through the ice during a cold New England winter — and they’re both on newsstands right now.
First up is a very generous write-up of A Brief Message in STEP Inside Design Magazine, which generously reports on our platform for compact, provocative design opinion and criticism — and in exactly two hundred words, no less. (Full disclosure: it’s probably no accident that it was written by my good friend and A Brief Message contributor Alissa Walker.) Seeing Jennifer Daniel’s beautiful origami dinosaurs — which ran with our first article and have since become our de facto mascots — is a real joy. And also something of a kick in the pants; as I said yesterday, I’m anxious to get back in gear with that site in the coming days.
To top that off, an article I wrote is out now in issue 66 of the United Kingdom’s legendary design magazine, Eye. I’ve been a huge fan of this publication for over a decade, even when it was economically inadvisable for me to be so devoted to it. It’s available in the States only as an import, so it᾿s always exorbitantly priced on newsstands. But somehow, during my lean years as an aimless and underpaid designer, I managed to scrape together the money to buy every issue. So to have an article I wrote actually published between its covers is a big moment for me.
My piece is called “Baby Steps,” and it’s about finding the aesthetic qualities that are inherent to each new form of media that we encounter as designers. Focusing mostly on the coming shifts in design for mobile devices, I try to make the argument that the design world’s emulative tendencies — embodied most prominently in the high-fidelity iPhone᾿s Safari browser — are less helpful than Web designers think; in fact I regard them as distractions from the real vocabulary of truly great native experiences.
Unfortunately, neither article is available online. But you can have your very own copy of each if you scare up a few twenty-dollar bills and head down to your local newsstand. Not only do you get to read the whole of each article, but you get hard copies, too. Y᾿know what I mean; it’s like the printer-friendly version of an article, except it comes with lots of ads and subscription cards.