Thursday, March 18, 2010

Designing Women

Because my blog is dedicated to answering the question, "Who am I now?" only I know what I might be compelled to post from one day to the next. (Feel free to think or say aloud, "Duh!")

Earlier this week I was in Chicago for a meeting of The Lutheran Advisory Committee, a group charged with guiding and directing the future of The Lutheran, the magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

I am currently the chair of this advisory group; and during our time together, I felt a renewed sense of pride about what the staff accomplishes each month. Telling the faith-filled stories of this more-than-4.6-million-member denomination is surely daunting. The people of this denominational identity are compelled to do "God's work with our hands," and the work being done is spread throughout more than 10,239 congregations in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. As a matter of church polity, that breaks into 65 synods in 9 regions - a daunting reporting task for a staff of nine plus a parcel of contributing writers. Still, this talented professional staff gets the job accomplished every month, and for that I am deeply grateful.

Another part of who I am is a professor – an educator who sees opportunities for lessons and learning no matter where I go. That is what's going on with this vlog. Amber Leberman, web manager and associate art director for The Lutheran and its associated publications, graciously recorded it with me just before I left to catch my plane.

Why did I want to record it? Well, I believe many think of themselves as a good designers - at least to some degree - even people who aren't employed as designers. However, few stop to think about what lies at the core of good design – and even good designers have to be reminded from time to time. If I had to sum it up I'd say it like this: "It's about the audience, stupid."

(No, I don't call my students stupid or even think of them as stupid. I'm just rephrasing a cliche'. And, remember, students taking Editing, using a cliche' is bad. So much for teaching by example. *sigh*)

At least listen to Amber on the topic of design. She knows what she's talking about. So does art director Michael Watson. Michael, I'll put you on the spot next time. Be warned.


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