A little over a year ago, when our previous art director decamped to Texas to design our new sister publication Houstonia, we were blessed to find Jane Sherman as a replacement. She was working practically under our noses, a couple blocks down Western Ave at Seattle Weekly. Going from newsprint to the more elaborate production requirements of a glossy magazine can be a rocky transition for some designers, but from the start Jane was a natural. Effortlessly, it seemed, she brought wit and color and energy to every page she touched.
No matter how well written a story is, a successful photo or illustration should stop you in your tracks and make you want to start reading. Take the illustration that Jane commissioned for “The End of the Nightmare”. Like any good art director, Jane has a roster of illustrators she’s worked with and regularly reviews artist portfolios. To set the stage for Ann Hedreen’s feature story about how local doctors discovered a way to alleviate the vivid nightmares associated with extreme forms of PTSD, she selected Brian Stauffer, an illustrator known for his treatment of sensitive subjects and his ability to distill a complex subject into a single, arresting image. Here, he renders the conventional idea of a person on a bed of nails as a man tossing and turning on a bed of bullets, a searing image that immediately captures the horror of a veteran taunted by combat nightmares. Brilliant.
And that’s just one article. Jane also came up with multiple cover treatments, worked for days plotting points on maps of 90-odd lunch joints, and supervised photo shoots of dozens of mouthwatering sandwiches. She shares the design challenges with Sara D’Eugenio, another relative newcomer to Seattle Met’s art department. Sara came to us via a regional magazine based in Savannah, Georgia, and brings an unusually diverse array of skills and talents that includes photography, illustration, typography, and—this makes me giddy—a love for the intricate work of arranging images all over a page. Which means that any feature with lots of photos and little headlines, like the sprightly Most Wanted layout and the spring arts preview she worked on this month, jump off the page.
So, as you read through the March issue and find yourself drooling over a sandwich or stopping to read something you didn’t know you were even interested in, thank Jane and Sara for making Seattle Met a work of art. We do.