To view the full project, click the preview thumbnails below.
When planting the initial roots for this story of life on the farm or deep into the woods for several unique characters, certain individuals and their environments stuck out as perfect subjects for our amazing storyteller of a photographer, Justin Tsucalas. Strong, yellow-gold elements helped to maintain a warm and exciting path through imagery and context. An organized opening image of edible plants and weeds were hand-picked on a local farm, followed by a tedious cleaning, editing, arranging and rearranging, until balance, intrigue and natural beauty were in harmony. Design and art direction, Baltimore magazine, June 2015. Opening photo by David Colwell and interior images by Justin Tsucalas.
As a fellow foodie, the profile of local food blogger Amy Langrehr (Charm City Cook) was a dream come true. Once we discovered that her Hampden abode is also home to several chickens, who she's dubbed "the girls", we had two spunky chickens running around our studio in no time. As the process of baking often entails, the design and content underwent several variations, but in the end, no one could deny the tower of dense, gooey brownies for the main stage, a Charm City Cook specialty. Check out the photo gallery under Art Direction for a behind-the-scenes look at the girls getting their feet cleaned before their big debut. Art direction, food styling, design and chicken-styling Baltimore magazine, April 2015. Photography by David Colwell.
Research, meetings, eating (and more eating) begin to take place for Baltimore's popular Best Restaurants issue about one year before reader's have it in their ready-to-feast hands. That is one of many reasons I was so fortunate to collaborate with fellow food enthusiast, food editor Jane Marion. While occasionally bringing a mean appetite to her calendar-packed food reviews was memorable, the real visual plan started with her first round of chosen restaurants. We chose which to highlight visually, through the mastery of photographer Scott Suchman. Everything from the unique look and feel (and lighting!) of the restaurants, both inside and out, to the chefs, waiters, clientele, ethnic diversity, and of course, the food itself—casual or fine dining, the colors, presentation, and savory versus sweet dishes were all components amongst the seemingly never-ending list of considerations when making final selections for the art assignment. Sidebars such as "Slice of Heaven" were fun solutions to break up the long list. Design and art direction, Baltimore magazine, March 2015. Photography by David Colwell and Scott Suchman. Hand lettering by Lauren Hom.
Through correspondence with Camden Yards executive chef Josh Distenfeld, we chose only the most mouth-watering and over-the-top items for our shoot. The bacon on a stick in particular was a star, as we exaggerated the maple glaze with a nice long drip that was captured at just the right second. By creating structure in columns and giving each topic it's own sort of block in the neighborhood, every element of both image and copy came together in a way that readers would have to stop and read. Art direction, food styling and design, Baltimore magazine, May 2015. Photography by David Colwell.
Initially, the 180 Things to Eat, See & Do in the City package was a mere "150" things. This beast had many moving parts, and ideas such the bottom-page ticker "Ice Ice Baby" came to life right alongside the design itself. Finding all photos on Flickr and Shutterstock, we were able to use our art budget for the highly sought-after illustrative talent of Mary Kate McDevitt, which really tied the fun energy of the package all together. Art direction and design, Baltimore magazine, May 2015. Lettering and illustrations by Mary Kate McDevitt.
As a serious lover of BBQ, this was an easy story to dive into. On-site at Andy Nelson's, photographer Scott Suchman and I constructed a glorious mound of brisket, ribs, pork shoulder, turkey and wings for a predetermined game plan for the "Barbecue by the Numbers" visual diagram. Other hotspots Big Bad Wolf's and Chaps Pit Beef enhanced the the drool-worthy collage-style spreads. Art direction and design, Baltimore magazine, August 2014. Photography by Scott Suchman.
The handmade Natty Boh stencil was a natural choice for the main stage. The stock-image of slate gave the warm tones of the bread, as well as the floured designs a special backdrop to really pop. Art direction and design, Baltimore magazine, November 2014. Photography by David Colwell.
Band of Brothers
Our decision to shoot the chefs from behind made for a fun reveal when flipping to read the piece. It also allowed us to show off their individual styles, like The Food Market's Chad Gauss, who sported brightly colored socks and a floral ball cap. This intimate and casual-feeling opener was a successful representation of the chef's unique personalities and close friendships, as was the story itself. Art direction and design Baltimore magazine, March 2014. Photography by Justin Tsucalas.
Two girls, two different dessert bike companies. Food-styling these frozen treats was tricky on a warm day, but working under the pressure of time made for a fun challenge. The positioning of Katherine and Krystal's tricycles was predetermined in order to best show of their unique logos and designs. For a few behind-the-scenes look, including my attempt at riding the Cream Cruiser up Aliceanna Street (not easy!), check out the photos in the Art Direction drop down. Art direction, food styling and design, Baltimore magazine, June 2015. Photography by David Colwell.
The process of cheese-making was represented in a photographic series on the opening spread. Stunning images of the three main farms discussed gave a visual context and lead through to this informative and unique story. Art direction and design, Baltimore magazine, March 2015. Photography by Justin Tsucalas.
Gettin' Jiggy With It
Maureen Gately is the Energizer bunny of Irish step dancing. A visual step-by-step breakdown on the basics of her craft made for a fun page of detailed, annotated bits and the music of Riverdance in our ears. Art direction and design, March 2015. Photography by David Colwell.
Pick a Peck of Pickles
One of my first food-styling shoots, and I'm still proud to look back at it. Arranging and angling the larger objects as anchors amongst the carefully laid black peppercorns and mustard seeds made for a eye-catching kick off to a hot, hot recipe. Art direction, recipe food styling and design, Baltimore magazine, August 2013. Photography by Scott Suchman.
Redesign for Baltimore magazine's back page. "A collection of the region's best quips, quotes, and bon mots". April 2013-June 2015.