Renata Graw Plural Chicago USA – I Used to Be a Design Student

CHICAGO, USA

Renata Graw (Plural)

PROFESSIONAL YEARS

12

A VALUABLE QUALITY FOR A DESIGN STUDENT + A DESIGN PROFESSIONAL

For both: Curiosity, experimentation, patience

FAVOURITE FOOD NOW

…I am addicted to just one: coffee

YOUR MOST VALUED POSSESSION NOW

My hands

YEAR OF PROJECT

2010

PROFESSIONAL PROJECT BRIEF

Lumpen Magazine: Ed Marszewski, founder and overlord of Public Media Institute, contacted us about redesigning Lumpen Magazine to begin its 18th year. As the scheduling had been revised, there was very little time left before the issue was to be released to print. With only one week ahead of us, we were to rethink every aspect of the magazine from the logo/masthead and format to the typesetting and layout.

CLIENT

Ed Marszewski (Public Media Institute)

COLLABORATOR(S)

Jeremiah Chiu, Ed Marszewski

TECHNOLOGY

Hands, photography, computers

TIME SPENT

1 week (a very intense week)

TYPEFACE

Golden Type, Bodoni, Univers among others – a lot of drawn type too

WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS PROJECT?

We took this project on as a challenge, but also to create a piece that would showcase what we were capable of, as we were, and still are, interested in creating/ designing publications. We liked the challenge of creating something that tested our limits, both in time and skill, resulting in something meaningful. What we liked the most was working with Ed, who really understood the relationship between client and designer, and valued our insight and research, which ultimately allowed us to push ourselves further and try out things we had never tried before.

WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT IT?

Nothing. Design decisions are made with the knowledge and experience you have at the time. Lumpen is an ongoing project, it has been evolving from one issue to the next. We enjoy that. For us, it serves as a document of the time; one that we can go back to and remember the decisions, preferences, ideas, revolutions of that moment.

OUTCOMES

With Lumpen Magazine, we received quite a bit of recogni-tion from our peers and the professional field alike (see feedback). With the recognition, we have been fortunate to gain a few new clients who are interested in collaborating on meaningful projects. Lumpen continues to serve as a project where we can explore our current ideas and constantly collaborate with a variety of artists, writers, etc.…

FEEDBACK

Ed and his readers/community were thrilled with the new redesign, as it created a new experience that was bold, fresh and engaging. Since then, Lumpen has received recognition from Communication Arts, PRINT Magazine, Taiwan DPI and the Type Directors Club.

ANYTHING ELSE

Because this project now and the project then were very fast projects, we didn’t have time to doubt our decisions. There was time to develop only one idea, so we had to focus on the task at hand.

DO YOU TEACH?

University of Illinois at Chicago (USA), Graphic Design and Typography.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO TEACH DESIGN?

Yes. I believe it is possible to teach design technique. It is important to learn the rules so you can break them, and to learn the history so you can understand your role in it. More important is to teach how to see and think critically and creatively.