Art + Design

From the Design Desk: Our Office, Virtual Visit


Over the last four weeks, Design Desk featured a series of New York creative studios and the very talented people who work in them. At each visit, we couldn’t help wishing we, too, had our own letterpress, silk-screening table, and Boston Terrier.

But looking around our own little design corner of the office, and out the window to the baseball stadium, and feeling the sunlight beaming in, well, it became clear that we do indeed have some studio perks to enjoy.

For one, our production room has a cutting table large enough for eight, a bulk paper cutter, binding equipment, a drill (I think that’s what it is), and even our very own sewing machine!

Maybe this won’t seem impressive to everyone, but we have a spray booth to keep the toxins away from the rest of the office. While we were writing this post, a fellow colleague pointed out our Xyron machine. But seriously, who really knows what that is?!? Besides, you don’t get to wear a white mask with the Xyron. Nor do you get to gaze at the clouds while listening to the sound of the vacuum vent…

Next … OK, our coffee maker is not aesthetically pleasing, and there is much debate over the level of badness of the coffee. But still, there’s always a pot brewing. Chronicle kindly keeps us caffeinated with a steady supply of Peet’s—and instant oatmeal! (The original flavor goes fast, so “Apples & Cinnamon” has become the scent of the desperately hungry.)

Despite our unattractive coffee maker (and spray booth), there are plenty of aesthetically pleasing, cute, “Chronicle,” and non-corporate sights everywhere. When someone was testing wall decals, the blooming tree above popped up. Similarly—but less visually lasting—is the testing of temporary tattoos (I’m sporting “Try My Weiner” below). And then there’s the iron-on testing, the appliqués, the jewelry kits

Another thing that makes our design corner colorful (besides the mood boards and desktop pop art collections) is the fact that we have a whole group of people designing children’s books. I can’t tell you how fun it is to walk by someone’s desk and see big bad mood rabbit blown up huge on someone’s 21-inch screen. The children’s book designers have the best collections of cute toys, procrastinating devices, and general visual distractions.

Then there’s the fun of being exposed to everyone’s different visual addictions, like Michael Morris’ paint-by-number collection (he is not alone in his obsession), the banter over who has the messiest and the neatest desk, and the hilarity that ensues when someone trips over their headphone cords…

This post is a bit like a virtual tour of our design space. And, as much as I still wish we could silk-screen without leaving the building, for a book-designing bunch we do have it pretty good—with plenty of inspiration, plenty of coffee, and plenty of sunlight.

Suzanne LaGasa

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