PDN: What’s the editorial
mission of Pacific Standard,
and who are its readers?
TAYLOR LE: Pacific Standard is a
nonprofit social justice magazine
based in Santa Barbara, California.
We focus on education, the
environment, and social and
economic justice and our audience
is well read, highly educated.
We’re committed to telling
stories that matter and getting
information out there that is
valuable to the public. We want to
reach everyone, but our ultimate
goal is to reach policy makers.
PDN: Are the readers visually
TL: I think so. Before the redesign
[in summer 2016], it was more
like a journal. When you opened
the magazine, it was nonstop
text. When we decided to do
the redesign, we wanted equal
amounts of text and photography.
We redid everything from how the
content is organized to how it’s
paced and how the photography
is incorporated. My dream was
to have a book that people could
keep on their table forever.
PDN: What percentage of
the photography you use
is commissioned, and what
percentage is existing work that
you license? Are the percentages
the same on the website?
TL: About 80 percent of the book is
commissioned exclusively and 20
percent is licensed to fill the smaller
departments. Online is a different
beast because it moves so quickly,
with so much new content on a
daily basis. I’d say the percentage
is flipped when it comes to web.
ABOVE: A recent cover of Pacific
Standard, which was redesigned
in 2016. RIGH T: A look at the
makings of the Impossible Burger,
photographed by Sam Kaplan
and styled by Victoria Granof.
LEFT: Creative director Taylor Le.
IN TERVIEW BY HOLLY STUART HUGHES
When Pacific Standard won the American Society of Magazine Editors Award for
best feature photography earlier this year, the recognition brought attention to the
outstanding photography in a magazine many people had never heard of before.
PDN talked to creative director Taylor Le about Pacific Standard’s redesign in 2016
and the photography she assigns. Before joining Pacific Standard, Le was a freelance
art director working on special edition issues and books for several Time Inc.
publications. She spent almost nine years as group art director at Source Interlink
Media, where she worked on several magazine launches and helped build photo
departments. She was also senior art director at Runner’s World. Her design has
earned her awards from Folio:, Society of Publication Designers and MIN.
SETS NEW STANDARD
See more stories about how publications use photographers
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