Graphic designers are sighing resignedly: Photoshop is no more a 19th-century-impregnable-lady, which can be only conquered by the bravest daredevils. As well as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and other creative suits.

However, back at home, while studying publishing at the university, I wondered how many stupid and insipid layouts ended up in our university news room everyday. Tones of them, lying on the editor`s table, seemed to be screaming: “Burn me! I am shit, a victim of publishing abortion, I have nothing to do with the real publication which comes out monthly in the UK and France!!” 

Needless to say, graphic design plays a huge role in a total look of paper publications. Although our professors forgot to mention its importance, I still got the idea of good impression that graphic layout can make. Simplicity and complexity at the same time – the journey for the reader starts here. 


Grids, margins, rows, columns, gaps, mixed grids – a good designer knows tones of smarty terms. A brilliant designer knows how to apply them in real life. A genius never uses them. 





The entertaining history of magazine covers

The magazine cover design has always been a unique and quite a fascinating kind of art. Nowadays, everyone in the publishing industry is involved in a creative process of covers development: publishers, illustrators, editors, and designers themselves. A good cover reflects an atmosphere of an issue and provides strong visual communication between the creator and a reader. Moreover, it is not only about the magazine covers: books and even newspapers (like all print media generally) need a good cover, which represents them.

Who was one of the first artists – the cover creators?

There is quite a number of them, such as R.K, Ryland, Dean Cornwell, Harvey Dunn, James Montgomery Flagg,Charles Dana Gibson, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, John Cecil Clay, Porter Woodruff, Frank Xavier Leyendecker, John Rawlings, N.C. Wyeth, and many more.

The Bridge. Harpers Bazaar illustration by Dean Cornwell

Howard Pyle, for instance, became famous as the father of American visual communication and invented a collective image of the pirate character that still services as the movies inspiration over a century later. Other painters, such as John Sloan and William Glackens, also created cover-art in this era. James Montgomery Flagg’s self-portrait ‘Uncle Sam’ exclaiming ‘I Want You!’ became a national icon.

A book illustration by Howard Pyle

“Uncle Sam” by James Montgomery Flagg 1917


In 1741, the idea of magazines was introduced by Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Bradford into America.  The Christian History magazine was published in 1743 and was the very first successful magazine in America, which unlike its short-lived predecessors lasted a few short years. Non of these magazines had a familiar cover page.

Christian History Magazine

The Royal American Magazine was established by Isaiah Thomas in January, 1774, and continued by him through the issue of June, 1774. Joseph Greenleaf immediately followed him and published the magazine from July, 1774 to its final issue in March, 1775. The text was largely taken from London magazines, and the plates were nearly all based on English originals.

The Royal American Magazine established by Isaiah Thomas

… And now

June 1911, by Harrison Fisher

August, 2013 Cover girl: Rachel Bilson

The end of the books era… Or not?


I definitely think that books are more important than movies or TV-shows. In the era of new technologies, we usually forget that reading means not just turning pages and starring at words, but also a deep thinking process, which can be only caused by reading.

Amount of people who buy paper publications in book stores decreases from year to year.

Publishing business developed so much since the printing machine was invented, but people stubbornly move to Internet web-sites and read black lines on white screens. Now, when everything is digital and computerized, think a bit: is there anything you would like to keep? Didn’t we step over that “digital” line, where we watch YouTube bloggers, follow political news, and read Remark of Kafka at the same time?

Online publishing is also experiencing a revolution. Newspapers look like real newspapers. Magazines are interactive. If you read “Cosmopolitan” on iPad, it is 99% out of 100 that you will participate in what is happening in the magazine. Personally, I like that kind of interaction. But what about paper publications?

Are paper books outcasts? Relics? Or both?

It seems ridiculous, but when I came in a book store back at home, I was shocked and surprised by the number of people there. Honestly, I saw pretty much NOBODY except a cashier and a consultant, who was reshelving books. “Are you closing soon?”, I asked him carefully. He turned and answered with a forced smile: “No”. Ok, so whats happened? Apparently, people escaped from that book store and preferred to bury themselves in e-readers and laptops. But why?

In my humble opinion, I just became a witness of how paper books history dies…

How to find a job? (part 1, includes tips from a professional)


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, 2001 Warner Bros. Pictures

– Sorry, mr. Potter, we don’t have a position for you right now. Try one hundred years later. 

– But… I`ve graduated from Hogwarts!!

– Still not.

– Avada Kedavra!

Unfortunately, you can’t do so. And that is not because you are not a magician – you technically can kill someone. That is because you are a graduate, sort of a monster among Belles and Beauties, who’ve already found their Beast and… a job.

Why the hell is it SO HARD to find a job for a just graduated kid? 

First answer is: it is just so. Historically happened. Universally admitted.

But you can actually overcome this. You just need some tips, a cup of coffee and a well-structured list of jobs web-sites. Lets get started.

Here are some tips if you want to get a job:

1. Show the right attitude;

2. Build your qualifications (and that means revising a resume, developing personal communication skills, and learning something new everyday);

3. Prepare for an interview;

4. Volunteer.

Sheldon Reisler, a teacher in Broadcasting and Film department at Centennial College, says: “There is nothing quite like formal training. You also have to be good at what you are doing, be able to produce something, to be given a job and take it away, and do it, and come back with a result. So that is one thing. Second thing is that you have to know people; you have to network with people, to market yourself, and impress people with what you do. And then finally, probably most important, you have to be a right person with the right attitude, which involves some other things like humility”.

Part 2: Useful links for searching. Coming soon!

Creativity, rucksack, and other useful things

So, since the first person drew a mammoth on the wall, we can call it creativity (oooops, I pressed smth and opened an expanded panel accidentally… I am geeeeenius). Creativity is also what others do running their blogs. Some people edit video, draw storyboards, create animation characters, write about their imaginary worlds… Creativity is around us. Obviously.

Combining text and pictures, produced by talented people, ruling the creative process seemed fantastic to me.

As to me, nobody taught me how to be creative. I did art stuff since I was three and could handle a pencil and a paper. My mom told me once: “Your hobby could become your job one day”. Just so happened, all my hobbies are creative: I film short videos, I love handmade, I draw comics and I do creative writing. I truly believe that I can mix all those things in future. There was one thing, though, that got stuck in my mind even before I attended primary school. I always was keen on books and writing. I wanted to become a writer. I wanted to become a screenwriter. And, as a result, I wanted to become a publisher. Combining text and pictures, produced by talented people, ruling the creative process seemed fantastic to me. I remember those days, when I was sitting in front of my old computer at parents` home and making layouts in Word. It was fun… But I was proud when everyone from my family (even my nasty bro) saw what i`ve done with my windows 95. 

If a story is in you, it has got to come out. William Faulkner

…Returning to creativity after my five-minute-selfish-speech. Pretend that here is a rucksack, and you are going to hike. Each member of your family tries to put something in it, what they think might be useful in your trip. What they put is called creativity. Why?

More than billion people on Earth have the same hobby. But each of them, while doing that common thing, brings something new, their own. That is what called creative process.

During three years I have been studying my own creative thinking. I thought: why do I think this way and how to make it more successful? Why do I have passion for, saying, books? Why don’t I have it for numbers and planning? If creativity is everywhere, why do I only find it in specific areas?

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use – the more you have. Maya Angelou

I haven’t found the answer yet. But you can start thinking on this. Perhaps, your will find more answers than I`d tell you.


“It’s Alive!” – The Art of Creating Characters

This all DOES NOT sound schizophrenic at all, TRUST ME 🙂 I feel the same. Read this article, guys, it is fantastically written.

Odyssey of a Novice Writer

I can think of few things more exciting or empowering than creating your own virtual universe out of the “furniture” inside your head. Writing stories, breathing life into your characters, well… it’s rather like giving birth to a new creation.


Whenever I create a character, an image from one of the old Frankenstein movies comes to mind: the mad scientist looking at the beast he’s created and screaming maniacally, “It’s alive! It’s alive!”

That’s how I feel when I’ve done my best by a character – I’ve given him life.

Have you ever considered how many fictional characters continue to live on in the minds of readers, influencing “real” life? I think a good character can be considered a living thing, a dynamic force that can change the way we think, the way we interact with one another, perhaps even the way we dream.

For example, I wonder how many…

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