Brian Stauffer
September 2010
A Year's Worth
A little over a year ago I was contacted by longtime friend and fellow New Times alum Dean Sebring.  As an AD for Sandow Media, he was in the process of re-designing and launching the new Worth magazine, a bi-monthly financial publication and was looking for ideas to shake things-up for the covers. Both he and the publisher wanted the covers to transcend the formats typical of today's newstands.  They wanted the issues to be collectable and treasured objects.
After our first cover (Issue #2) I jokingly suggested that we get started on another.  Dean took me up on it. The result is a year's worth of Worth covers (with more on the way) that are the product of one of the most challenging and satisfying collaborations of my career.
In May of this year, the re-design recieved the Gold Medal for Magazine Re-Design at the SPD Gala.  Robert Newman, former SPD President and legendary Art Director of numerous publications, has written an interview about the series on his SPD Blog (article here).
Big thanks to both Dean and Bob.

The gray in this one was printed as metallic silver inc. A gloss varnish appeared over the colored shapes. Use of metallics and varnishes are a staple of the Worth identity.

Cover #6 went through numerous variations. Initially it was rendered in full color and with textures. When we reviewed the series up to this point, we felt it needed to go to a more minimal palette. The gold is metallic ink. The trees are rendered as gloss varnish on matte black background.

The Mosque
This was a personal piece that is running in the new edition of The NATION along with some of the thoughts that led me to it. I'm better with pictures than I am with words, so....
Although my family and I no longer live in NYC, we were there on Sept. 11.  We sat in our apartment, 2 blocks away from the towers, sipping coffee and talking about our first child who would be born in just a couple months.
We witnessed the attacks firsthand.  I was on the roof of our building when the second plane hit the south tower. We felt the heat and shockwave from the now infamous orange fireball that exploded directly overhead.  After the towers came down, I helped my neighbor who had to evacuate her 4-day-old niece in a cardboard box covered with wet towels.  A few minutes later Alina and I were on a police boat heading for Liberty State park.
I mention this, and I guess it's because of this experience, that I've been watching the controversy about the building of the Muslim center (and Mosque) grow, fueled by hatred, fear, sadness, bigotry, and most importantly a complete lack of respect for what our Constitiution represents. I have a deep respect for the families of 9/11 victims. Some support the center, others do not.  I would hope though that as part of the healing process they come to understand that this was an attack by individuals , not a faith.
Issues like this are being twisted daily to divide us, when centers like the proposed one are trying to enlighten and reveal a deeper understanding of the many cultures that unite us.  To deny a constitutionally guaranteed freedom, in the name of patriotism is the highest form of irony I've seen in recent time.
A Muslim friend said it best to me years ago.  "There was somehting else hijacked on Sept. 11 - the identity of Islam itself."
This center was conceived to heal that wound, to help take it back.

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Stauffer is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!