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.