The creative power of Miami New Times

The creative power of Miami New Times The knockout cover pictured above is the work of Pam Shavalier, the very talented art director of alternative weekly Miami New Times. In two years at the paper, Shavalier has crafted a brilliant, creative, highly-original set of covers, creating a look that is as much the voice of Miami New Times as its editorial pages. In her spare time, she designs the covers and serves as art director for the paper's sister publication, New Times Broward-Palm Beach. 

Shavalier describes her design philosophy as "utilizing whatever tools are necessary to make clever and thought-provoking design." As with SPD's previous posts on altweeklies Riverfront Times, Westword, and the Dallas Observer, this is brilliant work done on a shoestring budget, with a lot of self-created, done-on-the-fly cover imagery. It's also just flat-out amazing in its creativity and its level of execution.

Shavalier combines super-technical wizardry, a strong sense of typography, lots of stock imagery, and some amazing illustration skills to create powerful, graphic covers that are by turns engaging, provocative, funny, and memorable.

With a background as a typesetter and production manager, it's not surprising that her covers would be so strong typographically and have a consistent technical edge. "While having a tight budget can sometimes feel like a curse, I absolutely feel that I would not be the designer I am today if I didn't have to break out my Photoshop skills to make the dollars stretch."

Below we've got 10 more classic Miami New Times covers designed by Pam Shavalier.

(Cover above): January 31, 2008, design by Pam Shavalier, road image from istockphoto.

You can see a collection of 20 of Pam Shavalier's greatest Miami New Times covers here.

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(Left): August 6, 2009, all art by Pam Shavalier. 
(Right): October 23, 2008, illustration by Pam Shavalier.

Pam Shavalier: "Both of these covers were originally supposed to have illustrations. But they didn't work, and I had to start from scratch at the last minute. and create them myself. Our primary goal is to get people to clearly see our covers from at least 10 feet away on the street, so having bright, clean design is essential."

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(Left): September 25, 2008, photo-illustration with stock images by Pam Shavalier. 
(Right): June 19, 2008, design and typography by Pam Shavalier, photograph by Colby Katz.

Pam Shavalier: "When all else fails, I just start plugging random words into stock photo sites and see if something pops up that triggers an idea. For the Ganja of the Sea cover I found some stock illustration and manipulated it to look like a tuna getting high, designed it like something you'd see in the supermaket (complete with faux nutiritional information), taped it on a can of tuna and had it photographed."

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(Left): December 24, 2009, design and copy by Pam Shavalier, Eastwood photo from Newscom. (Right): February 19, 2009, photograph by Colby Katz.

Pam Shavalier: "The cover on the left was inspired by our movie writer's seemlingly endless admiration (and obsession) with Clint Eastwood. The right cover was based on old Star Wars trading cards."

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(Left): March 25, 2009, photographs by Colby Katz, photo-illustration by Pam Shavalier. (Right): August 15, 2009, illustration by Alvaro Diaz-Rubio.

Pam Shavalier: This feature (left) is about the illegal slaughtering of pigs in Miami.The cover on the right was about a preacher in the poorest part of Miami who was convicted of stealing from the city, and who always dreassed in slick suits and drove a flashy Cadillac."

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(Left): February 14, 2008, photo-illustration by Pam Shavalier from istockphoto image. 
(Right): New Times Broward-Palm Beach, August 10, 2006, illustration and design by Pam Shavalier from stock art.

Pam Shavalier: The design for the cover on the right started with the headline, "Reef Madness." I knew exactly what to to do with it. It's about pollution destorying the coral reefs in Ft. Lauderdale."

You can see a collection of 20 of Pam Shavalier's greatest Miami New Times covers here.

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