The End of mental_floss magazine with Art Director, Lucy Quintanilla

The End of mental_floss magazine with Art Director, Lucy Quintanilla
With several other magazines shuttering this past year, in September it was announced that mental_floss magazine was also ending its print run. After 15 years in print, the November/December 2016 issue will be mental_floss' last. With their final issue on newsstands now, SPD spoke with mental_floss Art Director, Lucy Quintanilla about the process of creating this final issue.
Read on for Lucy's answers, spreads from the final issue, and some of her all-time favorite mental_floss covers!

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SPD: What was it like working on the final print issue of mental_floss? 

Lucy Quintanilla: It was a bittersweet process to create the final issue.  Not only were we saying goodbye to the company's legacy product -- but we were in the final weeks of working together as a print team. At the same time, I knew taking the product to online and video made sense. We focused on creating the best possible issue for our readers and for ourselves -- including nods to past issues, past articles we loved, a thank you to our readers and the wrap cover. I was also able to work with some incredible illustrators on the Big Questions package.

SPD: Did designers know it would be the last?

LQ: The staff (including our freelance designer) knew it was going to be the final issue. I think this allowed us to say a proper goodbye to the magazine and team. Knowing it was the last set of proofs or the last time you'd upload pages to the printer allowed for closure for the team. 

SPD: What was your favorite part about working on the print version of mental_floss?

LQ: There were a couple of favorite things about working on the print issue. Our print team was wonderful and working with so many talented illustrators was pretty amazing. But, the top has to be working with Editor Lucas Riley on infographics. I love infographics and Lucas would pitch elaborate projects. He developed a designers eye while we worked together and could mockup flow charts and maps like a champ. It was one of those great editor/designer experiences. 

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SPD: Now that Mental Floss' print publication is coming to an end, can you share some of your favorite covers?

Who Rules The Web? (November 2013): This was before I started but I love the concept so much -- it makes me smile everytime I see it. (Illustration by Nicole McEvoy)

The History of Everything (December 2014): The "chicken cover" as I call it: this is when we started using hand drawn type on the covers which kicked off the new look we instilled. (Hand drawn type: Mary Kate McDevitt)

Nerdcations (July 2014): Our creative director, Winslow Taft, assigned this cover and I loved it the moment he pitched the idea. It was a way of doing travel without using a destination photo. (Illustration: Luke Bott)

Daniel Radcliffe Subscriber Cover (October 2014): I worked with Erin McCarthy, executive editor of, to produce the photoshoot -- Daniel was so wonderful to work with and I love the simplicity of the cover. (Photography: Dale May)

The 10 Issue (July/August 2015): This was just plain fun -- who doesn't love a meerkat? (Hand drawn type: Mary Kate McDevitt)

November/December 2016 Credits

Cover credit: Ben Kirchner
Page credits
Big Questions: Illustrations by Ellen Surrey, Andy Smith, and Steven Twigg
Where is the internet?: By Lucas Riley and Lucy Quintanilla
The Pustefix Bubble Pipe: Styling: Winslow Taft. Photography by Rob Culpepper
Have You Seen This Vegetable?: Stock images via Alamy
The Phoenix of Hiroshima: Illustration by Christina Ung

Mangesh Hattikudur 
Will Pearson

VP, Editor-In-Chief Jessanne Collins
Creative Director Winslow Taft
Executive Editor Foster Kamer
Art Director Lucy Quintanilla
Managing Editor Jen Doll
Senior Editor Lucas Reilly
Copy Editor Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
Fact Checker Riki Markowitz 
Production Assistant Steph Tan
Proofreader Regan Hofmann
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