Art Director ﾕ HOW Magazine
Being art director for How, a design magazine, puts Tricia Bateman in the unique position of being able to contribute to the content as well as react to it.
Becoming art director at How was Tricia Bateman’s dream come true. Ten years ago, while at Vance Publications (her first job in design), she wrote a letter to the editor of How, saying how much she loved the magazine;the layout and the structure;and asked if he were hiring. He wasn’t, but sister publication Writer’s Digest had an opening and Bateman got the job. After a later stint at Popular Woodworking, also an F+W Publications title, Bateman eventually joined How and has been the art director for the last five years.
This is not a job for a timid or insecure person. After all, Bateman is designing for an audience of designers. “After a point,” she says, “I just didn’t think about that aspect. I just look at the content and think about how best to get it across to the readers.”
While Bateman’s primary responsibility as art director is to design the magazine, which is the core property that defines the brand, she has a hand in the design of all programs that carry the How logo. She tends to think of herself as having a second job as brand manager. Indeed, her involvement in all channels ensures that they have the same mission in mind and are using a consistent design approach for their materials.
Besides the magazine and its companion Web site, HowDesign.com, the How product group includes four competitions and a major conference. Bateman designs ads for the competitions, as well as media kits and stationery materials.
For the conference, she conceptualizes with the promotion staff, designs the program, and, since the topic is design, plans a speaker track.
While it’s unusual for a b-to-b magazine to have significant single-copy sales, Bateman says that How does a lot better on the newsstand than its competitors in the design industry. “I love my job,” she says.
At How, subscriptions are up, newsstand sales are steady, and the annual conference has been a sell-out for three years in a row. That’s How, all right!