Elana Schlenker is a Designer/Art Director. She being as an art director at Conde Nast and now she work at Princeton Architectural Press
My description of her, is : type, attention to detail, simple shape, hand-crafted elements, good balance, beautifully designed, magazine, magazine and magazine. Because, she create her own culture magazine The Original in 2006, and now this magazines change for her current passion, Gratuitous Type, which in her own words she described as “a pamphlet of typographic smut.” Elana have clear eye for design, without borderline.
She accept to describe herself in this post. Thank you for her participation in this blog.
. Can you tell us who you are?
I am a graphic designer based in Brooklyn. I currently work in the in-house design department at Princeton Architectural Press. I also publish Gratuitous Type (gratuitoustype.com), a magazine about design and typography, and maintain a small freelance practice.
. Can you explain your work at Princeton Architectural Press?
I'm a designer at Princeton Architectural Press a publisher based in the East Village in New York. We specialize in architecture and design books, but the titles we publish are incredibly eclectic — each project is completely different from the last. At PAPress I am responsible for designing books (usually about 3-4 each season) and also miscellaneous collateral for the company — marketing materials, promotional sites, even book trailers. It is a very small company (the design department is just me; another designer, Ben English; and our Design Director, Paul Wagner), so our roles really vary from day to day.
. What do you feel is the most challenging thing about typography?
For me I suppose it is resisting the urge to use typography that is super-trendy. Sometimes the trendy stuff is so pretty! I try to mix the old with the new, the timely and the timeless. There's a balance to strike, and the challenge is in finding it.
. How would you describe your style?
Generally, I try to make relatively simple, content-focused work, with an emphasis on strong typography, form, and color. I try to inject humor where I can, but of course, that's not always appropriate. What's unseen in my work, but a big part of what I do, is the organization of information. With my editorial background, I've very focused on the structure and hierarchy of information, narrative, etc, and I bring this to each project — from books to logos and websites.
. What work do you most enjoying doing?
I have always been drawn to publication design — books and magazines are my very favorite things to make — but I love the tactility of all print, and the opportunity it provides to explore different forms and production techniques. At the moment my practice is pretty varied, I am doing more and more digital projects, identities, etc, and I like the change of pace that each new opportunity brings. Content-wise, it's always a lot of fun to work for other creative people, and I do a lot of projects for artists and photographers, which I find really rewarding, especially when the process is collaborative. I also really like to work for small (or mid-sized) businesses and organizations, not only does it offer a lot of freedom, but you really feel like your work has an impact.
. Something you’re still learning?
I am still learning to say no so I have more time for my own work. Every project sounds so fun, it's hard for me to turn down things I really want to do, but sometimes there's just not enough time.
. What are the key things that are essential while doing the graphic designing?
Good coffee and good music, or the occasional podcast (I like The Bugle, WTF, and This American Life).
. Anything to add? Dates or places you wish to announce?
Well, PAPress has a new blog/tumblr, which we're really excited about — blog.papress.com
Also, the second issue of Gratuitous Type can be purchased here — http://elanaschlenker.bigcartel.com/; Issue 3 will be out sometime in early spring. Finally, I'll be at the Vancouver Art Book Fair this weekend (October 5-7), selling Gratuitous Type and also participating in a panel discussion about art direction and self-initiated publication projects — http://vancouverartbookfair.com.