Charlie Hess, Design Director & Photo Director at UCLA Magazine


Charlie's Top 5

Charlie Hess: I thought about all the old magazines I'd worked on, starting with my first, Print Magazine. Working with Design Director Andy Kner was my version of grad school. And I thought about the good old days of relatively big art budgets, like Buzz Magazine (a great LA city mag), and Code Magazine (basically GQ for men of color.) But in the end I focused on my magazines for universities and prep schools. It's here I learned to make big ideas on little budgets.

I settled on the last 21 years at UCLA Magazine. In looking at these five covers together I see a lot of love in the making of them, and knowing what a tiny crew can do when they have time to brainstorm, borrow and steal. Here are five of my favorites:

1UCLA Dreamer cover.jpg

Undocumented. Unafraid. | April 2018

The most recent cover, one of three covers we printed. With a crew of two we made covers in basements and hallways. UCLA has roughly 600 Dreamers on campus. I'm proud to share their heroic stories.

2UCLA Stage Presence.jpg

Stage Presence | July 2017

One of my all time favorite covers. How often do you see joy on a cover? I loved working with this well known theater director and representing UCLA through his positivity and energy.

3UCLA Urban Jungle.jpg

The Urban Jungle | January 2015

I sent a great photographer to shoot the LA River for a couple days. He came back two weeks later! I love that this cover looks like a time before man, when really it's about 50 yards to the 10 freeway on the right.


Lap Time | January 2014

A story about the women's diving and swim team. Our photographer shot from the bottom of the pool looking up. Sometimes the simplest covers are the best covers.


Recipe for a Vegan Campus | July 2012

UCLA was voted the most vegan campus in the country. We turned the typical vegetarian food shoot into drive thru heaven.