The Magazine Section: The Original Internet

Smash your computer! No, no, just kidding, let me explain why that might be the best idea sometimes when you are stuck in your creative process. Existing in a world before overbearing sponsored posts and financially influenced “influencers,” I remember a simpler time of searching through actual printed material looking for the perfect light bulb of creative genius. A world before the Internet. A depth of ideas, designs, colors, all inspiring my imagination and begging me to investigate more – and learn more.

I think back to a time when I would actually step foot in a bookstore to completely overload myself with inspiration. Stepping out of the comfort zone and discovering new interests and inspiration by just spending 45 minutes in the magazine section. This was the original instagram and pinterest, cats! Or in some cases the original tinder – but that’s a whole other animal. This is a place where someone could dive in and explore these different cultures way before sitting in front of a screen. Unlike the Internet – such a singular, deserted island for each of us – the magazine section was filled with all kinds of different people, together but alone as we thumbed through everything from Architectural Digest to Thrasher.

As a young designer in the modern world, I think it is important to step away from the computer and step back into the figurative magazine section. Unplug for a second and look at some real work in context. Looking for inspiration online can be exhausting and overall, a waste of time in some cases. Much of the work on blogs from your favorite designers is fake, never used or out of context.

Sometimes it’s more challenging creating something for a client at hand instead of something for your tumblr. Think about the audience first. Find a happy medium between what you’re trying to communicate and your creative admirations. When you dig deep and go offline, good design ideas arrive just like the monthly magazines I actually still subscribe to.

– Macdonald Whalen, Fernet Feline