John | Magazine Designer & Founder

Describe what you do.

I have two jobs. One is as a freelance graphic and web designer and the other is running an online and print  magazine based adventure travel journal, documenting some of the most extreme endeavours across the planet. In running the magazine, my job is to curate the stories for online and in print, work with editors to fine tune the stories, design the articles, liaise with printers and advertisers, organise distribution of the magazine via the website and international distribution networks. And make the tea…

Describe how you do it.

I’m fairly desk bound unfortunately and manage the entire project via emails and a project management system called Basecamp. Most people I work with are freelancers so everything is done remotely, backed up by the occasional Skype call. Running a magazine isn’t just about the final product. There are loads of steps required to get to this point – some of which are mentioned above. My typical day consists of spending some time researching and working with writers and photographers, ensuring the website is up to date and new stories are shared on social media. I’ll then look at the business side of things and ensure invoices are filed, and speak to advertisers about future and existing projects. I’ll also spend some time on the design side of things (my favourite element) and particularly in the print area at the moment.

Describe why you do it.

I love it. The reaction from our readers when they receive a new magazine does make it all worthwhile. I love the puzzle solving from a design perspective and creating something tangible and beautiful. It’s also a way to learn more about our world and some of the incredible places that are being explored right now.

What was the first step you took to become what you are now?

As I mentioned, I come from a design background so my training is in graphic design. I guess this gives me a unique perspective when looking at publishing as I always focus on the aesthetic rather than business aspects. Perhaps a good thing… perhaps not. My move into publishing came about 5 years ago when I was pretty fed up with the direction my design career was taking me. I wanted to steer my creativity towards something more meaningful. I had no idea if the magazine would be successful or not but just gave it a go.

What have you got to lose!

What do you wish you had paid more attention to in school? : Geography, history and business studies. Particularly business studies as a good background knowledge would’ve proved very useful when I first started.

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