RIP, GreenSource

RIP, GreenSource
GreenSource magazine ceased publication in print with it's November/December issue. Creative Director (and SPD President) Francesca Messina recaps highlights of the magazine's design.

"A few weeks ago, I got the word that McGraw-Hill was folding GreenSource, a trade magazine that covers sustainable architectural design, building, and global green issues. For the last 6 years, GreenSource has been "the little magazine that could," with a reach far beyond its small circulation, recognized for the depth of information it gave architects, for its design, and for the illustrations commissioned for every issue. 
The magazine was originally design by Andrew Horton, working for Shostak Studios with Corey Kuepfer and Mitch Shostak. In 2009, I worked with Ted Keller on a complete editorial redesign, reshaping the magazine's editorial flow, content, and design. He was the Art Director for 1 ½ years. Subsequent Art Directors were Matt Guemple, Robin Helman, and Heather Haggerty. We partnered with editors Jane Koleeny, Alanna Malone, Sara Hart and Nadav Malin.

This was truly one of those rare situations where a passionate team, a great subject, and real autonomy allowed us to each play our part in a true collaboration. Here's to the great magazine that resulted from that effort."


The covers, for the most part, were thematic. We didn't have a cover "formula" other than minimal cover lines (the advantage of a closed circulation b-to-b magazine!), and the idea that we had to push the boundaries creatively to interpret the subject or theme of the issue. 

CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT: AD Ted Keller, photo by Hedrich Blessing; AD Heather Haggerty, artwork by muralist and graffiti artist Steve Powers; AD Heather Haggerty, melted ice image by Samuel Bristow; AD Matt Guemple, illustration by Loulou and Tummie, AD Heather Haggerty, fine art image by artist Cha Jong-Rye; AD Heather Haggerty, photograph by Joel Avila/Hawkeye photography, photo illustration by Steven Kenny.

(ON THE OPENER: Cover design by Matt Guemple, illustration by Jessica Fortner, all artists commissioned for this issue were Toronto-based.)



GreenSource was a highly packaged magazine, offering case studies of architectural projects that were defined as green by a highly rigorous process. We also presented technical "Continuing Education" articles that architects could read, fill out a quiz, and get points towards their yearly certification. We tried to boil down these complex topics to arresting, clear, and informative visual solutions, using photography, typography, illustration or information graphics, and often a combination of several of these elements.

TOP: AD Francesca Messina, lettering by Jim Salter, photo by Nic LehouxBOTTOM: AD Ted Keller, photoillustration by Huntergatherer.



GS_05_new green u 1000px.jpg

Although we created many information graphics for GreenSource, we felt we didn't always have to boil down statistics and lists to charts, graphs and tables. The story could be told by diagrams, graphic illustration, or photo illustration (for a simple list of top university green programs).

TOP: AD Ted Keller, infographic by Peter GrundyMIDDLE: AD Ted Keller, illustration by LaBocaBOTTOM: AD Ted Keller, photo illustration by Darren Braun




We partnered with designers (in these examples, Simon Page, Carl DeTorres,and Tien-Min Liau), who brought their own fine art, design, and illustration chops to the mix to boil down complex, dry subjects into peppy, contemporary spread designs.

TOP AND SECOND DOWN: AD Ted Keller, illustration by Simon PageTHIRD: AD Heather Haggerty, illustration/design by Carl DeTorres; BOTTOM: AD Heather Haggerty, 3-D chart constructions by Tien-Min Liao



The idea of partnering with fine artists, and using fine art to illustrate some of the articles was always a part of the mix. Here we commissioned Gerard Dubois to create a painting for us, and also used a mashup of fine artist Sachigusa Yasudo's photocollage.

TOP: AD Ted Keller, painting by Gerard DuboisBOTTOM: AD Heather Haggerty, fine art by Sachigusa Yasudo


GreenSource, of course, gave service to its readers with multilayered, tightly gridded pages with charts, graphs, and multilayered components, all created by one art director with a minimal art budget. Many infograhics were created in-house, and pickup photography was used carefully. The redesign included chart formats designed by Nicholas Felton. Ted Keller created the format, using fonts Soho and Soho Gothic, by Sebastian Lester, and Proforma, by Petr van Blokland.

A huge thanks to everyone who contributed their talent, enthusiasm and sweat equity.

Launch Art Director: Andrew Horton
Redesign Art Director: Ted Keller
Creative Director: Francesca Messina
Art Directors: Andrew Horton, Corey Kuepfer, Ted Keller, Matt Guemple, Robin Helman, Heather Haggerty
Editorial Director: Cathleen McGuigan
Editors: Jane Koleeny, Alanna Malone, Sara Hart and Nadav Malin

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  • So sorry to hear this.

  • MRAKdesign

    Well, that sucks. Going the way of other great magazines.

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