This Month: Edutopia

Article excerpt

"THE ARTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOL education are crucial--and currently under assault and on a starvation diet," says consulting editor Owen Edwards in Edutopia's February/March issue.

Edutopia, a magazine geared toward public education professionals, took a different approach to this cover, attempting to "break away from the smiling faces," says Edwards. He and creative director Laura Morris wanted to create a print cover for the magazine's special report on the advantages of an arts education. "We wanted to cover as broad of a spectrum as possible with this 'ARTS' typeface," says Edwards.

Morris searched to find the right letters, shapes and objects to go on a white background. "When we chose the best combination, it wasn't difficult to piece together in Photoshop," she says. "Typically we stick to bright colors that pop." The content, and a white background cover, lent themselves to a broad color palette. "Still, everything needed to match," Morris adds.

While the cover design may seem to be a simple hunting-and-gathering of stock images, Edutopia's challenge was to convey a broad issue through the style and shape of three letters. "Vanity Fair, we're not," says Edwards. "We're dealing in some 40-plus editorial pages, which makes it difficult to cover all of the ground we want to. Therefore, the cover needed to imply both traditional and technological arts. That's why we came up with the lettering."

An earlier iteration put "ART" totally in computer keys, but the magazine wanted to expand its scope beyond writing and technology.

The final design--a paint splash to represent the visual arts, a retro typewriter key and a trumpet for music education--struck the right chord for Edutopia. "This cover was adventurous for us, and we've received a tremendous reaction from educators," says Edwards. "This is a topic that teachers of all sorts worry about. …