Friday, February 16, 2007

Things Need to Look Nice

Among the problems we try to solve here at SIR headquarters is the ongoing problem that Things Need To Look Nice. We're constantly designing things: chapbook and SIR covers, posters, a table layout for the upcoming AWP conference, a new website, and a new SIR logo. In nature, plants and animals are born and they grow naturally into aesthetically-splendid things, but in the artificial world of literary publishing (despite all of the parent-child metaphors writers love to use for their relationship to their work), everything is faceless and without personality until we have sat for days in front of a bright screen, manipulating lines and text until our eyes are puking.

We're amateurs at this, of course. It takes us entirely too long, and the revision process is grueling. I hesitate to put a percentage on the amount of our office time that goes into graphic design - a thing we never claimed to be qualified for (Well, I once did, and faked it well enough to land a job as a graphic designer/web programmer in New York City, but that's another story that ends just as pathetically as it begins...), but it's somewhere around 100%. It's almost all we do. Editors, ha! Let's be honest here. We're underqualified, overworked, graphic designers.

- Chris Dickens, Associate Graphic Designer for the Southern Indiana Review

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