Ugh! I’ve been sick with that nasty cold/flu that’s going around, I even took a for real sick day and watched tv all day on Tuesday, which I never do! (Btw check out “Cooked” on Netflix, it’s awesome!)

I’m running low on past design school projects to share so I thought I’d share one of my first freelance client gigs I landed soon out of design school. I don’t remember how I found out about it, but I entered a cover design contest for City Food magazine, which was all about food, wine, restaurants, and eating, in Vancouver, Whistler, and the general Lower Mainland area.

I got second place, and my cover ran for real in print! I still have a copy of that magazine, from 1993, omg!

CF cover

The original artwork is long gone, but I remember drawing it in pen and ink on illustration board, then dropping the original thru a discreet mail slot at the publisher’s office. Back before the days of “enter by email” and sending off originals, crazy stuff.

cover closeup

Colour was added by hand-cut ruby lithe overlays, one for yellow, one for pink. The grey screen would have been done in a similar way.

I don’t remember if it was a paid project, but after this cover ran, I got a little side job with the publisher helping the art director every month to assemble the magazine, create illustrations, and prepare the spreads into camera-ready art. I sometimes got little jobs out of it, like designing ads or other collaterals for the advertisers.

It also led to a fun project working with a cool Vancouver kids wear company, Please Mum, (sadly now defunct) designing fun and colourful tshirt prints for kids.

Right around this time, computers were becoming more affordable and I remember the ad gal on this publication telling me to get one so I could “make way more money”. Soon after I got a Mac Centris 610, which cost a mint, had 5MB of RAM, a floppy disc drive, and a tiny built-in harddrive, plus a copy of Illustrator 88- whoa!- and I started learning how to do design digitally.

One thing about learning the trade when I did, it made for an interesting cross-over time into digital work. I was lucky enough to land a job at an agency where they encouraged learning, and let you learn on the job, so I learned my big 3 (Illustrator, QuarkXpress (now thankfully InDesign has taken over that slot!), Photoshop) software as I went, both on my own with books and on the job by having to figure stuff out on the fly. Crazy times! The rest is history!