This Is Who We Are:Shane Luitjens

This Is Who We Are:

Shane Luitjens

A master at multitasking, Shane has been a huge contributor to all our student events. Whether he's leading a session at SPD-U, helping organize a Pub Crawl, designing event posters or critiquing portfolios, we're lucky to have his talents and expertise. And you are too! Learn more about him here ...

Meet Shane Luitjens
 
Current job:
US Group Art Director for INK Publishing. Currently working on inflight magazines for Airtran Airways (GO Magazine), VivaAerobus (enVIVA), and special projects for Delta Airlines.

What school did you go to, and what did you study?
Drake University. Studied journalism and mass communications (broadcast news), but by graduation, I had taken on 17 internships (and two national awards) covering magazines, TV, radio and newspapers. Also had minors in Russian Studies and Cultural Studies.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an explorer. I do that now professionally (the publications are chock full of travel content, some of which I photograph or participate in writing) and with my creative and activism projects. So, that's kinda cool.

How'd you get into magazine design?
After cutting my design teeth with companies like drugstore.com and Monster.com (Senior Designer), it was a goal of mine to expand that interactive knowledge with a strong print base. After spending two years working freelance in Rome, Italy, I came back to America landing
in New York City where the world of magazines has such incredible allure as it is so vital and exciting. To bring in travel, for me, it is ideal. This company has been an amazing opportunity to grow as a designer, expand on existing brands and launch entirely new pubications.

What made you get involved with the SPD Student Committee?
If exploration is a backbone of how I live my life, contributing to education (as a student, and as an instructor) is also really important to me. As a student, with all my internships, I recognize the value of real-world experience, and to help facilitate that for young designers looking to bring their ideas, innovations, and energy to the table is something I value. Plus, the committee is a great opportunity to make great friends and share ideas.

Name a current favorite font, photographer or illustrator (or all 3!)
• Font: Current favorite (and maybe because I am not going to be using it anymore) is still Museo which I used on my last redesign of AirTran Airways' inflight magazine. I am coming to love Galaxie (the replacement), but Museo and the artistry of typographer Jos Buivenga still has the soft spot.

• Illustrators: Right now, I am enamored with the frantic elegance of Russ Mills, and Steve Wilson's fluid two-dimensional sculptures (I currently have him on commission). And I have long been a fan of Ilana Kohn, Yuta Onoda, and Ben Gibson.

What should students do now while in college to help prepare them for an editorial design career?
Look beyond existing titles and businesses, and start your own. The fact is that while major magazines seem to have struck second wind with the iPad, the actual business strategies for these products are murky at best. Editorial will always have a place in people's lives, and demand can only increase as vectors for content multiply technologically. By not only embracing the new gadgets but creating avenues that bridge print and web on projects that you are passionate about, you will not only build up skills that make you marketable but could bring you to uncharted occupational waters where you can establish a career that extends beyond today's publication structure. In short, particularly for those in regions and areas with limited occupational options, look for gaps and markets that go untapped or have limited competition and build something.

Find more of Shane online:
• Art Direction website: shaneluitjens.com
• Blogs (though, I post inconsistently): comebackshane.com (travel info and experiences) and lethalwhitetrash.com (the creative and psych theory blog)
• Facebook: Torquere Creative / Shane Luitjens

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As one of SPD's many committees, the Student Outreach Committee is made up of a bunch of hard-working, fun professionals who are all about helping YOU. We thought it might be interesting to give you a little insight into who "we" are. Look for more profiles of our Student Committee members in the coming weeks and check out previously featured members:
• Joseph Caserto
         • Trevett McCandliss          • Jason Sfetko         
• Kim Sall                     • Nancy Stamatopolous      • John Walker
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