Tagged: middlebury

Eight questions for Pam Fogg

The UMagazinology questionnaire extends its reach, belatedly, to art directors with Pamela Fogg, who makes Middlebury Magazine look good every issue.

How long have you been in your present job?

Almost 13 years!

What has proven to be the most significant thing you had to learn to do that job?

Constantly flexing your personality to work with so many different types of people to get the job done. I feel like Gumby on most days and it’s rather exhausting!

What has proven to be your biggest frustration?

(Aside from the blustery editor . . .) I think most designers in higher ed have to work on several projects and the magazine is just one of them. I feel like I could easily make a better magazine if that were my sole focus. As much as I’m interested in other projects, I worry I am short-shrifting the most important communication tool our institution has by being spread so thin.

Is there a cover or story spread that you are particularly proud of?

Fall 2010 [on left below] and Spring 2011 [on right].

As a designer, what part of your magazine are you never quite satisfied with?

Well, it used to be the covers but I think we have a better handle on those now—I can’t emphasize planning and backup plans enough! With so much emphasis to online communications I think we need to do a better job at integrating the print and online magazine. I think we offer value-added content on our site but I’d love to see us using each medium to drive our audience to the other more effectively—create events worthy of attending.

What other magazine, alumni or otherwise, do you admire for its design?

We seem to all have a thing for Garden & Gun lately. It’s beautifully produced—smartly written, big photography, the right amount of humor, and overall has captured the southern lifestyle in a hip and engaging way.

If you could hire for a story any illustrator in the world, who would it be? And photographer?

Maira Kalman would be the illustrator—I’m going to try to get her when the right cover/story comes along. I got turned down by Roz Chast but I will try again. I think she could do a brilliant New Yorkeresque cover on reunion. I think I work with some amazing photographers so I consider myself pretty lucky in that regard.

If you were not a magazine art director, what would be your dream job?

I’d like to have a large animal rescue farm.

Cover of the Day

The Society of Publication Designers has awarded its “SPD Cover of the Day” designation to Middlebury Magazine. An unnamed “stellar panel of experts” made the selection, and we won’t argue. It’s one pretty cover. Congratulations to art director Pamela Fogg and editor Matt Jennings. (Not that we’ve ever cared much for Jennings . . . .)


Two things in the latest issue of Middlebury Magazine immediately snared my attention. First was that editor Matt Jennings had persuaded illustrator and cartoonist Ed Koren to draw the cover. Damn it to hell . . . I immediately fired off a note to Jennings, telling him what a punk he was for scoring a Koren cover. (I’ve now decided, on no evidence, that art director Pamela Fogg should get the credit for signing up Koren, and I feel much better.) The second thing was Jennings’ column, “Viewfinder,” in which he discusses a new survey of his magazine’s readers. Several of the survey’s findings leapt out:

  • 95 percent of Middlebury readers read every or nearly every issue;
  • 84 percent hold on to an issue for a month or more;
  • 94 percent believe the magazine strengths their connection to Middlebury College.

And two more responses leapt out, did triple Salchows, then nailed landings in the center of my attention: 94 percent want to keep receiving the print edition, and 78 percent will only read it in print.

These data match closely the results of the other reader survey I’m most familiar with, that done by Johns Hopkins Magazine a couple of years ago. They’re also congruent with the findings of the CASE member magazine survey. The implications could not be clearer, yet we continue to hear of institutions forsaking print for pixelbits, killing single issues or entire print programs in favor of electronic editions and blogs. Latest victims were Dennis Smith and his staff at Innovate, the late print magazine of the engineering school at Iowa State, who lost their jobs when that publication went web-only. (See update from Dennis Smith in comments, below.)

Two other numbers that I love from the Middlebury survey: 79 percent of readers want stories about campus controversies (one of the highest rated categories, only six percentage points behind class notes!), while only 28 percent are interested in donor profiles. That chortling you hear is me.

UMag inbox

Last week’s arrivals:

The spring 2010 Middlebury Magazine asks a serious, tough question: Does the increasing privatization of American power imperil national security? Writer Kevin Charles Redmon seeks an answer. The story’s second spread is devoted to a nifty infographic from Nigel Holmes, which will incite the envy of art directors everywhere who don’t have the funds to engage Mr. Holmes’ services.

The inaugural issue of Bell Tower from the University of Arkansas–Fort Smith has landed. I plan to discuss this one later in the week.

Illustration by Brian Ajhar

McKay Today Magazine, published by the David O. McKay School of Education at Brigham Young, devotes its spring issue to the theme “An Appropriate Education for Every Student.” Stories cover educating gifted children, special education, and home schooling. The feature “Exceptional Children: Trailing Clouds of Glory” (it’s an allusion to Wordsworth) opens with the nifty illustration seen at left, by Brian Ajhar.