Letter from the President - Francesca Messina

To the SPD Community:

I appreciate the vote of confidence you've given me in electing me to this role. It's an honor and a privilege to help guide SPD in the coming year. I want to acknowledge the great work done by my predecessor, Neil Jamieson, who worked tirelessly in the last year to advance SPD's many initiatives. And also our Board of Directors, and our amazing crew of volunteers, whose tireless efforts bring you all of the programs you know and love.

As I stopped by my local newsstand today on my usual lunch-break magazine grazing, I was struck by the number of newly-freshened or redesigned brands. We are at a moment of such incredible expansion in our industry, despite the hardships and shrinking budgets we all face daily. Apps are being created, new digital products imagined, and print magazines are at a really incredible moment in terms of smart editorial design. ADs and PDs are now brand design managers, with their hands and eyes on so many different types of media. There are fantastic new custom publications being bankrolled by big companies or kickstarted by a group of passionate individuals. There's a feeling of possibility, mixed with practicality, as always.

SPD has always been the voice of all of us who are editorial visual contributors: art directors, photo editors, photographers, infographics designers, and illustrators. We all create content that astonishes, informs, and reflects the cultural moment. Yet we cannot accomplish what we do alone. We work in teams, collaborate, fight, and defend our ideas and vision. SPD is here to represent our issues, needs, and ever-evolving industry. Whether you are creating Flaunt or Fast Company, Money or Monocle, Interview or Institutional Investor, W or Worth, Bicycling or Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Atlantic or The Oxford American, whether you've been working in this industry for a decade or a week, on staff or freelance, we represent YOU.

SPD turns 50 in 2015. This year we will plan a celebration of SPD's legacy, and of a great chapter in the history of publication design. Please give me your thoughts on how we can truly commemorate the great designers, photographers, illustrators, editors, and work that has been done in the last half century.

So, here's what you have to do: if you haven't yet, JOIN SPD. TODAY.

Here's a sampling of what you'll get for those hard-earned dollars:

• Reduced price or free tickets to a range of events (from apps to redesigns to diving into the multiplatform strategies of big brands), and videos of these events if you are not able to be there in person. 

• You'll get the bible of the best of publication design delivered to your doorstep, the SPD Annual. 

• You'll be able to post your work and inspiration to share with others. 

 You'll get the scoop on job postings, and if you are new to the field, the opportunity to get your portfolio reviewed by top art directors and photo editors. 

• Recent or about-to grads can compete for internships at top magazine art departments through our Student Design Competition.

• And, you'll expand your network of peers, and contribute to the only organization in the US that specifically champions magazine design and magazine design professionals. It's the smartest professional investment you can make (and did I mention, great parties in awesome venues?).

Please engage, JOIN SPD, support our programs, VOLUNTEER, and help us expand the conversation, starting today.

To join: http://members.spd.org/

To volunteer: email mail@spd.org

(WE NEED YOU to help keep our Committees productive and to help them create more programs that serve SPD members)

My goals are to be inclusive on every level, to help guide your extraordinarily hard-working Executive Director, Keisha Dean, and your Board to support and represent all of us.

I'm at fmessina@earthlink.net, maggrrl on twitter, and fb. 

Talk to me.


  • Josh Klenert

    It's an honor to have you at the reigns as SPD marches toward its 50th anniversary Francesca.

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