Category Archives: Portfolio

if&when magazine – Volume One

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I’m so stoked to announce the release of the inaugural issue of if&when magazine — the literary journal journal.

I had been wanting to do a zine of some kind for the last year, and it topped my pre-baby bucket list. On January 24 Victoria Billings and I met for dinner. Turns out Vicki had listened to my rambling at some point (bless her heart) and over sushi, she outlined her plan for the magazine. It would be like Highlights for poets; not just presenting great work, but encouraging and prompting writers to write!

That first weekend, I set up the if&when website and we opened a two-week submission period. We received 197 submissions from 45 authors. That meant lots of reading. Because of the huge response, we had the blessing and curse of being picky — accepting and rejecting pieces was a topic of great debate between Vicki and me.

I feel that the design of the magazine is really unique. For pieces that don’t fill a full page spread, we include ruled pages for notes, doodles, or your own pieces. There are also writing prompts and a game based on one of the poems. Many of the pieces have photos or illustrations by myself, Vicki, or from Flickr’s Creative Commons collection. Perhaps in the future, we’ll also accept artwork, but for now it seemed much simpler to keep the look and feel locked down, particularly given the short turnaround time for the project.

You can currently buy the print edition for $15 on Amazon and at if&whenand the PDF digital edition for $5 at if&when.

 

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New logo

Happy 2013 everyone! I’ve got a few things in store for the next twelve months.

  • benjaminlawless.com is now up and will be where I put poetry-, art- and photography-related news, leaving penciledin.com for my personal commercial work, including book publishing.
  • I’m working on a new version of this site, responsive and with a new logo! The preliminary design and color exploration is below.

preliminary-penciled-in-logos

 

P.S. I had a problem the last few months with WordPress not letting me upload media, giving me a permissions error. I just fixed it thanks to this comment from here:

I deleted the default path for the “Store uploads in this folder” field in “settings/miscellaneous” and put the full path in the “Full URL path to files (optional)” field.

Websites I’ve had a hand in building but haven’t shared yet with you:

  • delicious:suite’s website: Had a lot of fun redesigning this site again. Love PHP includes. The copy on it is still a work in progress, and we need to actually add a portfolio, but it’s up, and it’s got DROP SHADOWS. I swear I’d never use drop shadows on the internet. This is a year to break rules.
  • Firestone Walker Brewery’s website: I was the head of the team working on this at delicious:suite, and we built this according to iii design’s wonderful comps (I hope we did them justice). It uses some pretty nifty AJAX/PHP/Flash magic so the video never refreshes, although the rest of the page does. Oh, and we got some free beer from the deal. SCORE!
  • Designer Sleeves’ website: Definitely want one of these, but haven’t justified it to myself yet. Built this at delicious:suite according to a Kraftwerk design. It was nice getting to see Anthony Pessagno occasionally when I’d walk into their offices, but ZenCart and I are probably going to be lifelong arch-nemeses.

Kevin Toqe – Love Is

I can’t believe I haven’t yet written about this, but my good friend Kevin Toqe recorded a magnificent E.P. this summer, and it’s exciting to me for three reasons:

  1. It’s really quite good.
  2. He’s released it for free on his website.
  3. I designed the packaging and liner notes for it.

So, whatever you do, I highly recommend you at least stop by his site (KevinToqe.com) and give it a listen. There’s a media player at the top of every page that plays the songs in their entirety, or you can download the entire album, including a PDF of the liner notes.

It’s interesting to note, though, that neither the digital booklet nor the actual physical cd (when it’s produced) will have the complete packaging. The digital download has all the lyrics, while, in the interests of space, the physical cd has no lyrics, but does have the tray art, of which you’ll see the inside of the tray card above.

I highly recommend the song “Keep the Faith” which is track numero uno. It’s super catchy; I find myself singing it in the shower almost on a daily basis.