Randy Dunbar, a Graphic Design instructor at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising was the guest art director for two issues of Aspen Magazine this year. Dunbar brings years of experience from various creative roles at major magazines such as Health, Self, Muscle & Fitness, Mademoiselle, Brides, GQ and Home to his position as FIDM Instructor for courses like Publication Design and Typography, and faculty advisor for FIDM Student Publication, The Mode.
Like many FIDM Instructors, Dunbar balances his teaching schedule with his active role as a creative professional. As guest art director of Aspen, he traveled back and forth from Los Angeles to Aspen, Colorado to art direct photo shoots, and develop the layouts (images and typography) of Aspen Magazine‘s summer “food and wine” issue, and upcoming mid-summer “culture” issue.
“A magazine is sometimes 60 pages of editorial, and that’s 60 pages of graphic design as opposed to one single project,” says Dunbar. “The difficulty is always to keep it looking like it came from the same DNA.”
One of the most exciting challenges to art direction is the ability to remain flexible, he says. For example, on the day that the Aspen team was scheduled to photograph the mid-summer fashion editorial (shown below), they found themselves in the middle of a snowy day.
“You’re on the spot, especially if you’re the art director,” he says. “We were suddenly trying to think of ways to make this shoot look like summer, which meant never shooting outdoors. In general with magazine design, you have to be prepared for the curves.”
Dunbar has been an instructor at FIDM for more than four years, and he says that FIDM Students are particularly engaged.
“There are always a couple of students that bite the bait- they get hooked. You can see it in their faces, and you can see it in their work,” he says. “I often hear from teachers [elsewhere] that students are on Facebook, they’re on their phones or whatever. I have to honestly say that it rarely happens. They are one hundred percent engaged, and that to me is always gratifying. I’ve always loved that about teaching here. FIDM Students, especially in the graphic design department, are quite committed.”
Shown Above: (1) Sneak preview of Aspen Magazine’s upcoming mid-summer July cover featuring Lance Armstrong, (2) Fashion editorial spread from Aspen Magazine’s summer”food and wine” issue, (3) Sneak preview article from Aspen Magazine’s upcoming mid-summer July issue. Art-directed and designed by guest art director and FIDM Graphic Design Instructor, Randy Dunbar.
Below: Cover and spreads from Aspen Magazine’s “food and wine” summer issue, art-directed and designed by guest art director and FIDM Graphic Design Instructor, Randy Dunbar.
Questions/comments? Email the editor, Mani O’Brien at mo’email@example.com.