What is the best way forward for editorial design consultants?

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As an editorial art director, I was interested to read that the category of editorial design was included in the Design Week Awards.

This is encouraging as there is often a divide between editorial and consultancy designers – a fragmentation which also exists between other design disciplines. This can be limiting, especially as we anticipate multidisciplinary teams working on contract projects in the future.

I think many editorial designers get stuck in a rut of house styles, deadlines and editorial/ad requirements. Perhaps their efforts to keep in touch with current design trends seem rather limited compared to other designers. This could result in lack of recognition and presence within the industry.

I am presently completing my MBA degree and am working on my dissertation which focuses on the future of editorial design – reviewing its current state and anticipating trends and developments, particularly within business/customer magazines. I am also looking at how designers should prepare themselves for the future. There seems to be strong competition from design consultancies who are winning more and more contract titles – is this because they are perceived as being more creative and able than publishing agency designers?

It would be interesting to know your readers’ points of view on the state of editorial design and its future. Are design consultancies able to provide strong editorial design services, although they may not understand the limitations imposed by editorial and advertisers? Can consultancies provide the best range and scope of publishing services to their clients as publishing companies?

All responses are welcome.

Fiona McKerrow

Jobson UK

Richmond, Surrey


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