I remember my first job at an “advertising agency”. The people I worked for had just been brought in-house inside what was to become the largest senior living operator in the United States. I remember a lot of mixed feelings and a lot of excitement. The big boys had made a ton of money, and the creatives had a bit more job security.
There’s pretty much no job security in agency land, as I well know, owning my own agency now for the past 4 and a half years.
What struck me back then and still strikes me now is my desire for print design. Not web design, although I do very much admire the work that web designers and developers have put out into our world. But print design – touching it, seeing the colors on paper, smelling the paper and the ink. I love it.
Knowing that it is what it is – what you printed is final. No one can go back in and take out words you didn’t want to admit, or adjust colors, or change the order of the stories. Print is final in days where nothing seems to be final.
It could be my age, as I grew up with real magazines and real books and every morning I started my day reading The Dallas Morning News. The fun parts, at least. The book reviews and the arts and culture, the restaurant reviews and sometimes the comics, too. I loved The Dallas Morning News. I still do. I love going over to my parents house and to this day seeing it on their breakfast table. It’s a part of our heritage: good, solid, trustworthy news.
I still seek out print publications. I get magazines shipped to my house every month. I look forward to them coming, even though these days they’re getting thinner and thinner and the content often seems recycled from the previous year. I get it, writing this blog, it’s so hard to come up with new content about the same thing. And damn, it’s hard to find positive things to write about in this current state of the world.
So today I’m choosing to write about a new magazine I subscribed to several months back. It’s called Good Grit, and it highlights life, art and culture in the American South. It’s tagline is “ordinary people doing extraordinary things”. How wonderful is that?
I’m quite drawn to the American South. The big, tall, stately trees in front of the big, tall, stately homes. The long sticky summer days, the cool, refreshing, mint-infused alcoholic drinks, the conversations that never seemed to go on too long or be too boring, because the person you were talking to had lived so many interesting lives.
The mix of cultures in the South is a mix that I’m very much drawn to. It’s something I’ve talked about before. My love of everything that has come out of the African, Cajun, Creole, and French cultures. The music, most importantly. And the food. And the dancing. And the laughter. And the stories. And the love of family. The traditions and the rituals. I love it all.
Good Grit highlights that. In excellent design, in bold colors, in captivating words. It takes me back to Louisiana, to Alabama, to Tennessee. The cities and towns filled with culture, with music and great food, filled with dark and light, with good and evil, with southern charm and oftentimes southern destruction.
I do love the cities of the South.
And I love seeing them, and reading about them, in print. The colors are as bold as the people, the words fill my soul. I can taste the recipes, imagine the conversations, feel the humidity. There’s so much goodness in those things, and in a magazine choosing to showcase them, choosing to continue to print in this day of the worldwide web.
I’ve been dark and gloomy for months now, and haven’t cooked in forever, have barely gotten on my mat. I felt a breaking point after my blog post yesterday, and a shift allowing my world to open up a little bit more. These words are therapeutic for me. This blog is my outlet to a world I often don’t understand. The light and dark of this world is the same light and dark in each of us. We have to remember that as we boldly move ahead. Mistakes will be made. People will seem broken. And together, we’ll turn those broken cracks into something worth talking about, worth doing, worth seeing, worth fully understanding.
Here’s to print publications, for breaking me out of my daze of this life. To the words that can bring us together, and to the colors that stir up wonderful memories.