Facebook mania

Facebook mania It's no secret that I'm a big fan (and user) of Facebook. I like the fact that almost everyone I know and work with in the magazine world--editors, art directors, illustrators, photographers--has a page on Facebook, and spends regular time on it (never during work, of course). It's an especially rich visual experience, with folks posting up videos, photographs, recent work, sources of inspiration, and links to all kinds of valuable resources. There are also a lot of visual people who are using Facebook "fan" pages in a variety of ways....for self-promotion, as mini-blogs, or as support for their websites. It's building an inter-connected community of visual messengers and commentators, and helping work to be seen by many more people than was ever possible before. The pages are free, and incredibly easy to access and update. Here are five people who are doing diverse and interesting things with their Facebook fan pages (self-promotional disclosure: one of them is me).

(Above): Cover of Slant, circa 1995. Illustration: Gary Panter, art director: Jesse Marinoff Reyes. From the Jesse Marinoff Reyes fan page on Facebook.

Jesse Marinoff Reyes Design. A former art director at Penguin Books, Guitar World, and legendary Seattle magazine The Rocket, Jesse Marinoff Reyes posts a "cover of the day" that is either a magazine or book, ranging from 1930s pulp to 1990s punk. Reyes is a deeply-researched student of graphic design, and his daily posts include long, detailed, elegant mini-essays on their subjects, rich in visual history and filled with art director minutiae. Recent posts include covers from The Monster Times, Urban Outfitters' Slant, Wire, and Ford Times (above, featuring an illustration by Charley Harper), as well as a stack of very cool classic paperbacks. Reyes also draws on his experience as an art director in Seattle in the 1980s to collect and publish extensive items on that city's publication design history. That means you'll find lots of covers and information on publications like The Stranger and The Rocket, designer Art Chantry, illustrator Michael Dougan, and many more. You can get a sense of his aesthetic by picking up a copy of his notable book Next: The New Generation in Graphic Design (North Light Books). Best of all, Reyes has a lot of smart art director, illustrator, and photographer pals, and they populate his postings with their own smart, lively comments. This page is an amazing resource and inspiration guide.

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Vintage Fortune Magazine is a Facebook fan page produced by former Fortune associate art director Linda Rubes. She has a simple formula: every weekday there's one new Vintage Fortune cover of the day, dating from the 1930s-1970s. Each cover is accompanied by its original inside caption information, which is often extensive, as well as art director and illustrator or photographer credits. The covers, of course, are stunning. Many of the 30s and 40s covers have been extensively reproduced, but those from the 50s-70s are relatively unseen, and striking in their originality and graphic impact. A special treat is the series of gatefold covers from the late 60s and early 70s. Also on Vintage Fortune Magazine is a collection of 49 Fortune 500 covers, virtually every one every published, including the most current cover, as well as this year's notorious rejected cover illustrated by Chris Ware.

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Edel Rodriguez has a fan page on Facebook that he uses to highlight his current work. There's a running stream of new illustrations (and he's a busy guy!), as well as links to his Drawger page where you'll find more in-depth discussions and pre-final sketches. Rodriguez also publishes updates on awards, exhibits, photographs, and much more, as well as keeping a running dialogue with his friends and fans (the above illustrations are from a current environment show at the Society of Illustrators). Rodriguez was one of the first visual artists I saw take full advantage of the Facebook fan page concept. He's developed a nice, conversational tone in his posts, and he uses the Facebook message system to keep his fans updated on openings and other events.

Some other illustrators who are finding creative ways to use Facebook fan pages to showcase their work are Ward Sutton, Danny Hellman, Mark Zingarelli, and Yuko Shimizu.

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Boom Underground is the Facebook page for BoomUnderground.com, an online magazine devoted to the history and culture of the Baby Boomer generation. The website is the brainchild of photo editor/creative thinker Julie Mihaly, and features all the fun images, graphics, music, and videos that you'd expect from the late 1950s-70s. On her Facebook fan page, Mihaly publishes daily updates like: On the Tube Today in 1959 (Zorro), On the Charts Today in 1966 (Simon & Garfunkel's "I Am a Rock"), and Boom Era Commercial of the Day (Barbie's Dreamhouse), all with video links or other visuals. It's diverse, surprising, totally fun, and expertly-curated, and it's so nice to find this rich cultural history drifting through your Facebook home page feed during the course of the day.

I've also got two Facebook fan pages of my own. The first, Robert Newman Design, is dedicated to my own work, both current and archival. On the Facebook fan pages it's a snap to post up visual collections, so when I finish a project I can get covers and inside pages up right away, along with any comments I have about the process (the cover on the left is from a series of work at AARP that I posted at the end of last year). I just finished working on a redesign for JCK magazine, and was able to put up 15 pages from the new issue the day it hit the streets. I use the page to update friends and colleagues about jobs I'm working on, events I'm a part of, or anything else related to my own personal "brand." I've also been posting up series of archival work that I've done, pages from older jobs, and things that have inspired me over the years. My second Facebook page, Newmanology, is more of a visual blog, with daily news, updates, and links for all kinds of graphic design and visual inspiration, as well as regular series of publication covers, both archival and contemporary. Recent posts include work by Tim Leong at Complex magazine, covers featuring Bob Dylan (on his birthday), and a collection of covers from legendary 60s underground mag Evergreen. There's also a magazine cover of the day (the cover on the right is from a recent Der Spiegel illustrated by longtime Beatles associate Klaus Voorman, who did the art on the Revolver album cover), and occasional month-long cover series (we're currently doing a month of gay pride magazine and newspaper covers in honor of the 40th anniversary of the first gay pride march in New York City). What I like about the pages is that they're so immediate and so temporal...kind of like working on a weekly magazine.

Be sure to become a fan of SPD on Facebook. We've got lots of news, jobs postings, and other data of interest.

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