Five Questions for Linda Tran Tutovan, Deputy Art Director - Digital

Five Questions for Linda Tran Tutovan, Deputy Art Director - Digital

Ever looked at a magazine's masthead and wondered just what do all those job titles actually mean? What does a photo producer actually do? Does a deputy art director get a shiny badge? And why are some people creative directors and others design directors? 
Our blog series "Five Questions for..."  is here to help answer those questions and give you insight into working in the world of publication design. Is there a particular job that you want to know more about? Email  us at and we'll find an expert who does it. They'll give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work. Read on to find out what being a Deputy Art Director is like for Linda Tran Tutovan.

The Pro's Work




About the Pro
Linda Tran Tutovan
Deputy Art Director - Digital
Works for: Money Magazine 
Went to: SUNY Buffalo
Degree Earned: BA, Communication Design
Instagram: @Tran_tutovan

1. Imagine you're talking to someone who has never heard of your job. How would you describe it to them?
"I make magazines pages look pretty," or, "I create the magazine for the iPad" are the layman phrases that I use with most of my family and friends outside of the art world. Those descriptions seem to satisfy most. I've come to terms with the fact that I have an amazing job that's full of creativity, using color and type, and things that most people just overlook. It's like being a ninja: I have secret skills, and they don't know it.

2. What about your job makes you love it?
Art and design are in every nook and cranny of daily life, and are often unrealized by the general population. They're in subway posters (some are horrible), event signage (I love museum signs), road signs (kerning is so important here), maps (infographics galore), and invitations. I love that I get to be part of this multi-layered world, in however small a way, and I love the challenge of publication design. Mine is a beautiful job where I work with color, texture, type, layers, and more. I like the organized chaos, structure, and rhythm of grids, which magazine design incorporates, along with things like marrying type, photography and color on a page to create something elegant. Translating a print magazine for iPad lets me push all of that further, because I need to consider how people read, see, and interact with a device in the digital world.

Editor's note: The tablet editions of  Money are produced using Adobe InDesign, and WoodWing Plug-ins, which are integrated with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.

3. What do you think of as the big break in your career?
It was my internship with WBMG, Walter Bernard and Milton Glaser studio. SUNY Buffalo had an amazing internship program leader who got me in there, WBMG referred me to TIME magazine, which led to TIME Inc. Content Solutions, which got me into Sports Illustrated, and so on. It all started with that tiny spark of landing an internship, and I'm still meeting people who are launching me forward.
4. What is your biggest professional mistake or regret?
I've learned and grown from every "mistake" I've made, so I don't view them as mistakes anymore, but as bumps that made me think about how to improve. That is all part of growing and learning in business and in life. I don't regret a single one, because they've made me a better designer and a better person. I like to think of making mistakes this way: "Self-improvement and self-critique are good for the soul."

5. What advice or parting words do you have for anyone who wants to do what you do?
Do what you love, and have a goal, a dream job, or dream magazine. And, it's okay if that goal or dream changes. If you obtain it--which I have, because I've been fortunate to have worked for some of the most amazing titles--pick a new goal, a new dream job, and keep yourself creatively challenged. If you miss working with your hands, find a side project: Create cards or artwork for your loved ones. Show off what makes you happy, what exhibits your creative talent, whatever makes you smile at the end of the day, and gets you to your happy place. Design is my happy place.

Is there a particular job that you want to know more about? Email us at and we'll find an expert who does it. They'll give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work. 

"Five Questions for..." is edited by Joseph Caserto

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