A Challenge to Art Directors

By Paul Heney

I’m not a creative type, but sometimes I wish that I was. I love that “Aha!” moment when my art director first lays out his or her ideas for a cover concept or a feature article treatment. I’m usually blown away by their creativity and how they bring elements together in ways that I never would have imagined. My former art director, who’s still in the business, and has been for more than 40(!) years, still comes up with great ideas that are fresher than many junior graphic artists.
In b2b, we have underappreciated journalists, for sure. But I think we have a lot of underappreciated and under-recognized art directors and graphic designers, too. That’s one of the reasons that we started the TABPI Design Challenge last year. It was a lot of fun, and there were many different concepts submitted. You can see the winners and honorable mentions from last year’s Design Challenge at www.tabpi.org/designchallenge.htm. There’s also an learning aspect to the Challenge, too … you can see what the judges did and didn’t like so much. Would you have done things differently? How so?
Well, now you can show us. We’ve just announced our second Design Challenge, and there’s no cost to enter … except the time invested in developing your solution. And just as last year, there is a $250 prize for the winner, which will feed your Starbucks habit for quite some time!
Once again, the Challenge involves the fictional “Concrete Times” magazine. This time, the editor-in-chief has asked you to design a show issue without using a city shot or a convention shot. Full details are at www.tabpi.org. The deadline for submitting Design Challenge solutions is February 13th, 2009. I look forward to seeing your submissions, along with that “Aha!” moment.

Paul J. Heney is editorial director for Questex Media’s Hotel Group, which includes Hotel & Motel Management, Hotel Design, and Luxury Hotelier. A member of the ASBPE Cleveland Chapter board, Heney served as national president of ASPBE from 1999-2003. He is also president of TABPI, an international b2b think tank that promotes b2b journalism and professionalism.

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