Gadsden Style

In September, my editors told me the Gadsden Times would be producing a magazine.

“That’s crazy talk!”

Only, they were totally serious. Oh, man. Have they any idea what goes into designing a magazine?

Our sister paper, The Tuscaloosa News, produces a magazine. Thankfully, they use Adobe InDesign as well and sent us a template page.

However, they are on PCs (poor guys) and we’re still Mac (yay), so none of the fonts would work. I did cobble from their design. I went and found out what their fonts were supposed to look like and then did an approximation. So at least we weren’t baking a magazine from scratch, more like from a cake mix.

Did I mention that we only got InDesign in August? Yeah, we were on Quark before that.

So, my first time to work on a magazine, using a program I’ve been working with for a couple of months... STRESSFUL.

But also awesome. I’ve always wanted to work on a magazine.

The first issue of Gadsden Style is available today. (Check the Rainbow Food Marts, Food Worlds and Johnson’s. Hopefully BAM will carry the next issue.)

I am so proud of how the magazine turned out. I’m proud of my coworkers... our ad staff that was so fired up about getting businesses to advertise in this new venture. Our news staff... they’re used to writing news coverage all the time, but they all rose to the occasion so well in their pieces for the magazine. The photographs all look so amazing.

And thanks to Chad Gibbs for providing a piece for our readers. He was such a good sport on getting it turned in ASAP after the Iron Bowl.

Our publisher was pretty stoked with the first issue, too. He sent out a mass e-mail to all the Times’ employees. In an act of horn tootin,’ here’s a cut and paste:

Gadsden Style came together graphically through the skill and judgment of Graphic Artist Laura Catoe. She has the fairly unique ability to listen to the clutter of a number of different ideas and sift them down to an end product that reflects the vision we were all trying to describe. That's not easy, and it requires a patience I know I don't possess.

That’s probably the only time I’ve ever seen my name and “patience” together in the same paragraph.

I asked my editor if I could be listed as something other than “Graphic Artist” on the magazine’s staff list. He agreed, but coming up with the right term is hard.

A lot of people have no idea what I do when I tell them I’m a graphic artist. Say “pagination” and their eyes glaze over.

I asked if I could be listed as an editor. All the squillions of little decisions like which photos to use, what quotes to pull, serif head or sans serif... they are all decisions on how to tell the story, how to represent the notion. They are edits.

Gadsden Style, page 4, Laura Catoe... Contributing Editor.

Bike Well logo

Bike Well: A group of cyclists in Gadsden and the surrounding areas who want to help meet the transportation needs of those in our community. Our mission is to find bicycles in need of repair, bring them up to safe working condition and distribute them to those in need of a bicycle for transportation to work or other life enhancing activities. An additional part of the mission is to expand bike culture in the area and tries to educate the public about safety, maintenance and possibilities of integrating bicycles into the transportation possibilities for the area.

Fat Bear BBQ logo

Todd Bagley and his award-winning Fat Bear BBQ did a Boston butt sale to help us raise funds for the adoption. Go, Bagleys!

The font is "Mufferaw."

Invite design

cash is king

For Cash's first birthday.

Be An Example t-shirt design

This is a t-shirt design commissioned by a coworker for her church. The criteria: 1 color, the verse 1 Timothy 4:12 and an image her husband liked:

In my original design, YOUTH was straight across and they asked me to bend it around the sun rays.

I love a chance to make the text itself a design.

A Parliament of Owls

A Parliament of Owls

I made a book for Ben. It’s called A Parliament of Owls.

Ben LOVES animals. One day, I came across a list of collective nouns for animals and I thought that was really fun. Somebody said “you should make that into a book for Ben.”

“Hey, I should,” I thought. I’ve used Blurb to make a couple of books about Ben and am already hatching ideas about Cash Dean: Volume One.

It took me forever just to decide which animals to illustrate. I finally chose ten: two each of mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and insects. (Choosing two amphibians proved tricky.)

And then I had to decide on all the text. Wow, is authoring a children’s book a lot harder than I would have expected.

Last came the illustrations, which also took me forever. But I finally got the book ready enough to order a “proof” copy.

I read it to Ben and he enjoyed it and knows it’s a book Mommy made for him.

Blurb allows you to make your books available for the public to buy, so I did. I marked them up $5. Any proceeds I make will go in our adoption fund.

Retired site design: Posies

The blog design from summer/fall 2009 to summer 2010.

When I designed this one, I was pregnant with Cash, my second son, hence the blue flowers. But I knew we planned to adopt one day, so I went ahead and put three flowers in the design. One in the distance.

By the time this design came down, we had pre-approval to adopt our daughter.

Retired site design: 80s glam

When I moved my blog from Blogger to a WordPress blog in the fall of 2008, this was the design. I retired this and went to the "Posies" design sometime in 2009.


For my preview story on GeekFest, I modified clip-art into this Geek chick with her Twirock t-shirt, grape soda for the taste-off and novels by authors slated to appear.

ETW's print sale

The Red Cross Heroes fund-raising campaign is in full-swing. Eric is a “hero” and his fundraiser is a print sale. I designed the invite for the event.