Luiza Augusto is one of the winners of ASBPE’s Young Leaders Scholarship award in 2020. She is an art director for Technology Networks within LabX Media Group in Ontario.
How did you get involved in the business?
Shortly after completing my bachelor’s degree in design at the Federal University of Technology of Paraná (Brazil) in 2015, I relocated to Canada. In January 2017, I began working for LabX Media Group (LMG) as a junior graphic designer. LabX currently owns four different brands, The Scientist, LabManager, Technology Networks and LabX. The Scientist and LabManager both offer print issues and strong web presences, while Technology Networks maintains a news website and cultivates a burgeoning social media profile, and LabX is a long-established online marketplace for laboratory equipment.
During my first two years at LMG, I gained experience in a variety of products, processes, and media within the company. I worked and learned in close collaboration with the art directors of our various publications, creating advertising content as well as designing internal materials. In January 2019, the current art director for The Scientist went on maternity leave. With all the responsibilities, skills, and knowledge I had acquired over the years and within LMG, I proved to be the right candidate for the job and stepped into the role of interim art director. Although I had worked on LMG’s media brands, the new responsibilities, tasks, and skills required for putting together The Scientist magazine made my new role very challenging. Nevertheless, I worked hard and persevered. I rapidly ingratiated myself to The Scientist team, fitting in and working well with its editors and writers for the past 12 months. I have also worked closely with freelancers and the brand’s sales team to produce passionate and well-received visuals for the brand.
In February 2020, The Scientist’s art director returned, and I shifted roles to become art director for Technology Networks within LMG. My remit at Technology Networks includes reimagining their digital publication and developing a consistent brand presence that stands out while also creating more awareness and engagement among readers. As LMG continues to grow over the next decade, I hope to advance into a management role so that I can be more involved with offering design support to all of LMG’s brands and ensure they continue to prosper and evolve. This evolution will see me leading a seamless transition for LMG’s magazines to the online world, fostering even more engagement and interest in their already stellar content.
What are the top challenges editors face today? What are possible solutions to those challenges?
The internet clearly changed the face of publishing. Decades into this new reality, media brands are still adjusting. Many within and outside the business publishing industry feel that print is dead, but I personally think the still-shifting media landscape is an opportunity to explore new ways of communicating ideas to readers that incorporate diverse platforms and delivery modalities. I believe that now is the perfect time to reinvent traditional business publications and make them more relevant to today.
Some magazines are already making the shift from print to the online world by creating captivating, interactive content. While the act of joyfully flipping through pages still facilitates interactions with readers, online content is able to supplement information delivery through its dynamic visuals, interactivity, and convenience. This allows business editors, writers, and designers to tell new stories using different media while making their work accessible to a broader audience.
For example, an important interview is no longer confined to the page. It can now exist as video or audio, and even presented in those forms, the interview can be disseminated in so many different ways. Similarly, infographics no longer need to be static. They can invite interaction, making the reader and active participant in the sharing of vital business information. This is a definitive moment for business publications. It is time to evolve the strategies honed for centuries on the printed page and adapt those skill to creating new ways to tell stories. Whether it involves using current technology, creating new technology, or redeveloping old technology, the business press can present ideas, information, and stories that keep modern audiences captivated and engaged.
How has your company adapted to COVID-19? Has your work changed as a result?
As for COVID-19 times, with the closures of the offices, all the employees had to move to work from home. At first there is a bit [of uncertainty] how that would work as more than half of our company works from an office setting, but we have actually proven to be more efficient and business has actually been up for the past few months, generating more work and revenue. [That definitely proves] that we can quickly adapt to different scenarios whenever we need to. We try our best to have regular meetings with our teams to not lose the collaboration we would normally have when working in the same environment. A video call is an amazing tool to have.
Raised in Campinas, about 90 kilometers north of São Paulo, Luiza Augusto always had an interest in art. In 2010, she entered the design program at the Federal Technological University of Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil. In 2013, she won a spot in a national program, Science Without Borders, to study abroad for one year. Augusto chose to join the Digital Futures program at OCAD University in Toronto. In 2015, she married her partner and moved permanently to Ontario by the shores of Georgian Bay.