I miss layout design


Every now and then I get hit with a nostalgic mourning for a nicety of the past. If I’m lucky, it’s a fond remembrance of a pleasant triviality — like the Pumpkin and Kumara Stack with pesto that used to be served at Breakers restaurant. (I’m of the opinion that’s the only dish they did particularly well.)

Less pleasant are the times when I remember The Cuteness, the best budgie I ever had (it’s not favouritism if it’s fact)…as it’s followed by the recollection of what it felt like as he died, nestled in my palm.

Today I had another occurrence of missing a moment: I miss the job I had four years ago. Most of my graphic design career was in freelance, where I enjoyed working with a variety of clients and projects. My favourite projects were when I’d join design teams who needed an extra hand. It’s always helpful and more streamlined to be working with people who know the industry standards, jargon, and just what I need to get things achieved fast.

But before that, four years ago, I was an employee at a multinational organisation, on their team of graphic designers. I was one of six. One of the features of this organisation is their production of a quarterly magazine that circulates into over 110 countries. The latest issue of that magazine arrived to our home today, and as I was looking through it, noting the creative layouts, I thought, I miss doing that.

Granted, I wasn’t ordinarily part of their mag team. In fact, my layouts were only featured in a couple of issues. My tasks at that organisation were more often in collaboration with the video department, making DVD jacket designs and disc art. Or creating photo manipulations to illustrate web articles. But, in that keen nostalgic moment, I missed creating page layouts.

It used to be, in the first couple of years following my time there, that I could look at the graphic layouts of each article in their latest issues and be able to tell which designer had put it together. I recognised their style. But over time new names have comprised the mag team — I now recognise only two of them — so while admiring the style of successors on the mag team, I feel just that little more removed from Ye Olde Days.

It gave me a feeling of Sad.




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