Runway Meets Editorial: Designing a Perfect Experience

April 5th, 2010 by Lacey Luce
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By Melissa Ricksecker

When I think fashion I think exquisite works of art sailing down a runway, and I think W magazine.

When I was in college I carefully cut out the pages of W and hung them on my wall as art. But not before I had spent hours with the publication in my hands, my eyes taking in all the flash and nuance that come together to create that very particular experience.

catalog spreads

"As I look at the current round of catalog proofs tacked up on my office wall I’m excited."

Just opening a fashion magazine is an experience. It’s tactile: The weight of the publication, the feel of the paper as I turn each page anticipating the next visual enchantment. Of course I love the fashion, but it’s not just looking at the fashion and fantasizing about wearing what is splashed on the pages that makes these magazines so fun. The photography is delicious. The design is delightful.

I want our audience to have a similar experience when they turn the pages of our fashion show catalog—I envision a guest sitting down minutes before the start of the show and carefully turning the slick pages eager to see what the next page will bring.

Last year the local design firm Ologie came on board—pro bono—to develop the print materials for the show. For the catalog, they brought in a professional photographer and did a full-on fashion photo shoot in CCAD’s photo studio. Then their design folks worked seemingly around the clock to create a fantastic magazine-style publication for us to share with our guests and industry professionals on the day of the show. And our guests were not the only ones to be wowed by the product—both the photography and the catalog won the prestigious ADDY® award. We don’t mess around.

photographer & model

Professionals know when “it” is “it.”

With the success of last year’s publication we knew we wanted to work with Ologie again, and fortunately for us they felt the same. This year we also brought in Scott Cunningham to do the photography. I could gush on for quite a while about Scott’s talent, vision and extraordinary high standards—but I don’t need to. Pick up a copy of his magazine CMH. The lush photography, elegant design, and killer editorial content speak on his behalf far better than I can.

Both of them generously are giving their time and talent to the project at no cost to us. We couldn’t do this otherwise.

So this year’s journey began as soon as school started back up last fall. Ologie sent out a few of its top guns: Senior Designer Jenn Stevens and Managing Creative Director Kelly Ruoff to meet with our fashion design students to get a feel for what this year’s collections were about. When Kelly and Jenn returned to Ologie they began creating—they created a whole brand for the show that incorporates elegant typography, sophisticated design, and engaging copywriting. They created the backbone of an experience.

We have since met and planned and discussed (all that editorial stuff—LOVE it!), and pulled off that fabu photo shoot I wrote about a few weeks ago. Photos have been chosen from the thousands that were taken and are being prepared for publication. Jenn has designed the layout for the catalog, and it is spot-on.

As I look at the current round of catalog proofs tacked up on my office wall I’m excited. In a kind of backwards process of what I did with those W magazines back in college, I see the individual pages coming together into a sleek and polished end product. But I still see the genius of the photographer’s eye in harmony with the designer’s vision.

And I think about you seeing it, and holding it, and experiencing it.

There’s still time to get tickets. Buy them online.

Check in next week to find out how the menu is shaping up for the Champagne brunch, and coming soon: meet the designer’s whose talent will soon take the stage.

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The CCAD Fashion Show is an annual fundraising event that showcases the talent of graduating Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design Seniors. This popular event sells out every year and this blog is a portal through which to view the behind-the-scenes goings on.

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