Faculty Work: AWESOME! Lis Charman and Brad Trost designed this month's Metropolis cover!

Posted on Mar 14th, 2010 by Command Save

PSUGD program coordinator Lis Charman and partner Brad Trost were asked to design the March, 2010 Metropolis Cover. *so exciting!* I asked Lis to share with you all some of their process in how the final March cover came to be. If you see Lis in the hallway, give her a high five. If you see Metropolis on the newsstand, take a picture and upload it to your flickrstream. Let’s see these covers in the wild! Again, many congratulations to the fabulous Lis. Huzzah! Huzzah!

Below is her documentation of events! enjoy!

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March 2010 Metropolis cover designed by Lis Charman / Brad Trost

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Runner-up cover idea used on interior page designed by Lis Charman / Brad Trost

I (with my partner Brad Trost) was contacted by Metropolis to create a cover design for their Sustainable Product Guide. Metropolis examines contemporary life through design—architecture, interior design, product design, graphic design, crafts, planning, and preservation. Metropolis’s “Behind the Cover” gives insight in the conceptual thinking that went into the cover ideas.

“As we talked about the premise for the March product issue, our editorial director, Paul Makovsky, pointed out that all the stories explored the ides of ‘systems thinking.'” says Criswell Lappin, Metropolis’s creative director. “The products were discrete parts of broader networks. I asked the Portland, Oregon—based duo of Lis Charman and Brad Trost to come up with a conceptual cover to illustrate this point. Curiously neither of the final candidates featured a product. The eventual choice juxtaposed a clear cover line—’Small Gestures, Big Impact’—with a beautiful starburst emphasizing how modest ideas can create a ripple effect to become large cultural shifts. And we like their other option so much that we co-opted it for the intro page of the feature section.”

Metropolis gave us a three week timeline. We worked on a round of ideas and/or revisions for a weekly deadline. Plenty of alternate ideas, sketches, revisions after the jump.

Here is some of our process.

Week 1 | ROUND ONE
We were asked to come up with four different ideas. We gathered inspiration and researched systems thinking and sustainable product design. And, of course, we sketched and talked (and sketched and sketched). A week later we emailed New York City based Metropolis’s creative director Criswell Lappin and the editorial team the following visual ideas for consideration.

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The story behind this toaster is amazing: “In a heroric effort to source and fabriacate each part of an everyday applicance himself, Thomas Thwaites produces the world’s most expensive toaster” —Metropolis. Read the blog post The Toaster Project from the blog: we-make-money-not-art.com

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Metropolis asked us to revise four of the ideas. We redesigned and created a new cover based on comments from the editors and creative director.

We sent them these four revised cover ideas:

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We sent revised versions and did another quick turn around to address some details and additional copy Metropolis wanted to include to enhance the idea.


More of the visual ideas we developed are posted after the jump.

Here are some of the rough 16+ sketches we rejected in favor of the above ideas / revisions! (These ideas and variations were not sent to the client.)