Around Town: Nov. 14th – Nov. 20th

Listen Up! An Update on Audiobooks from BIGNY

When: November 14, 2017 @ 5:15–7:30pm
Where: Penguin Random House, 1745 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY

The Book Industry Guild of New York is a member-operated professional organization composed of professionals from every aspect of the book publishing and book manufacturing industries. It sponsors educational seminars and trips, holds monthly informational programs, and helps raise money for the Literacy Assistance Center.” Continue reading “Around Town: Nov. 14th – Nov. 20th”

National Poetry Month: Celebrating June Jordan

Thursday, April 20 at 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Brooklyn Public Library
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238

The Center for Black Literature, in partnership with the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College and Brooklyn Public Library, will celebrate the life and works of June Jordan.

Poet, playwright, and essayist Jordan (1936–2002) was one of the most widely published and highly acclaimed African-American writers of her generation. During her career, she produced 27 volumes of poems, essays, libretti, and work for children, June Jordan was also known for her fierce commitment to human rights and progressive political agenda. Jordan engaged the fundamental struggles of her era: over civil rights, women’s rights, and sexual freedom. A prolific writer across genres, Jordan’s poetry is known for its immediacy and accessibility as well as its interest in identity and the representation of personal, lived experience—her poetry is often deeply autobiographical; Jordan’s work can also be overtly political and often displays a radical, globalized notion of solidarity amongst the world’s marginalized and oppressed. Her volumes include Some Changes (1971), Living Room (1985), and Kissing God Goodbye: Poems 1991-1997 (1997) Biography excerpted from Poetry Foundation.

Admission is free. Please be sure to RSVP.

TNR Editor Talks & Book Signing: Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop

Monday, April 24 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10012

Join New Republic editor ERIC BATES and MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, author, Georgetown professor and New Republic contributing editor, in conversation about Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America—Dyson’s urgent, heartfelt, and eloquent new book on race relations in the United States. Read Dyson’s excerpt for the New Republic here: Tears We Cannot Stop.

Admission is free. $5 for a special subscription to The New Republic. Please be sure to RSVP.

Building a Mystery: Four Writers on Crafting Crime Fiction

Wednesday, April 26 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Strand Bookstore
828 Broadway (& 12th Street),
New York, NY 10003

What does it take to plan a murder? Four crime fiction novelists talk about writing stories that kill. It’s Edgars (TM) Awards week in New York, which means the nation’s mystery writers have come to town to celebrate the genre. In this conversation, four crime novelists will discuss the dark alleys of writing and publishing, and what it really takes to live a life of crime. Featured writers include: Reed Farrel Coleman, Julia Dahl, Lori Rader-Day, and Alex Segura.

Admission is $15. Purchase your ticket online.

Passerbuys x Chandelier Creative Present: Paper vs. Pixels

Tuesday, April 25 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Passerbuys Lounge at Canal Street Market
265 Canal Street
New York, NY 10013

In a climate where print sales are going down and our lives increasingly revolve around stories we read online, publishers are faced with the challenge of grabbing our attention and standing out amongst a constantly expanding landscape of new (and often free) media. As publications seek solutions to this problem from a design perspective, they weigh the options for how to best reach their target audience. Are apps the way forward? Do readers desire more visual content? How can we translate content intended for print into something optimized for consuming on mobile devices?

The panel discussion will explore consumer reading habits and publishing’s use of technology and design in the Internet era with speakers Renda Morton, Executive Director of Product Design at The New York Times, Omar Sosa, Founder & Art Director of Apartamento Magazine, Thessaly La Force, Editor-in-Chief at Garage Magazine and will be moderated by Jorge Balarezo. “Paper vs. Pixels” is part of Truth-tellers & Troublemakers’ salon in collaboration with Passerbuys.

Admission is free. Please be sure to RSVP.

Link of the Week: Magazines Speaking Out with Unconventional Covers

When it comes to magazine covers, the titles and logos are one of their most recognizable features. It is often what we use to identify the magazines amongst the handfuls of others on a newsstand. A magazine with a more recognizable logo and design may stand a better chance against the competition. However, what if magazines can catch readers’ attentions by doing the opposite? Sometimes, a little surprise is just what a brand needs to create buzz.

From the article, “Face Up Online: Mother Jones,” featured on Folio Mag, designer Robert Newman discusses the off-the-grain design choices of liberal magazines, including Mother Jones.

On the July/August 2014 Mother Jones magazine cover, you will not find the clean serif typeface like that on its previous covers. Instead, you will find a bright, red and yellow cover with a bold typeface: a parody of a tabloid magazine. Newman says about the cover, “The parody, designed by creative director Ivylise Simones, is spot on, with just the right mix of funkiness and visual chaos. The design holds nothing back, right down to the Mother Jones logo, which was redesigned for this issue to reflect a tabloid feel. The result is a cover that is fun, engaging, provocative and viral-ready. It takes a strong partnership between the editors and the visual team to create this kind of high-level, sophisticated cover design and it works brilliantly, crafting a set of images that work on so many levels.”

Newman adds, “Conventional wisdom is that a magazine’s logo is sacrosanct, a critical part of the brand that should never be messed with, and I’m sure the Mother Jones logo change will confuse a few readers. Yet, what the magazine gains is a dynamic, comprehensive graphic approach that not only jumps off the page, but is destined to work quite effectively online and across the magazine’s multiple platforms. Apparently altering logos to fit stylized covers has become a trend, because it’s been done recently to great effect by both Bloomberg Businessweek (who have done it at least three times over the past year) and The New Republic.”

Keeping a magazine cover looking seemingly the same each week or month is not a bad thing; it makes the magazine easy to recognize and comfortable. Magazines can use that sameness to their advantage, as Mother Jones has, and break the norm, causing excitement and wonder as to why that month’s cover is special. As Newman says, creating a cover that is out of the ordinary will create buzz “online and across the magazine’s multiple platforms.”

When The New Republic featured Jeopardy TV host Alex Trebek as its cover story, the magazine “designed itself to look like the famous Jeopardy game board, altering its logo to mimic the show’s distinctive trademark.”

Newman also writes, “In early June, Bloomberg Businessweek published a story on progressive economist-of-the-moment Thomas Piketty designed to look like a teen fan magazine, complete with a bubble gum logo and small photos of both Justin Bieber and Karl Marx. Both covers take complicated, unsexy topics, but with graphic stylization they turned them into dynamic, pulsating covers, and the same is true with this Mother Jones cover. Of course, there’s a long history of magazines designing covers to look like LP covers, posters, books, product packaging and more. It’s very exciting that magazines that cover topics that are generally not considered flashy and cool (politics and business) are creating some of the liveliest, hip and memorable covers.”

Newman also raises the question as to why it seems that the covers of more liberal magazines seem to “look so much better and smarter than their conservative counterparts.” This may have to do with political ideology, or it may just be a simple design choice. Nonetheless, using unconventional covers can definitely have an effect on a magazine’s buzz.