DU Alumna Opens London’s First Music School for Students with Autism, Wins Award


What happens when a student is given a chance to succeed beyond her wildest dreams? She makes dreams come true for those around her. Currently working as a music teacher for students with autism in London, Gergana Argirova (BM ’10, MM ’12, music) credits her Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award to the open arms of DU and its inspiring faculty.

Gergana Argirova was once a humble DU student from Bulgaria studying at Lamont. At the age of five, Argirova fell in love with the piano and began a long but remarkable journey that would take her from Bulgaria to Denver, Denver to Italy and back, and finally London. Her journey began at the National Music School in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where in her final year she was awarded a full scholarship to attend DU’s Lamont School of Music. While working on her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees, Argirova made the dean’s list, the honors program, and served as a teaching assistant.

Additionally, while studying with David Montano, Argirova worked on a project called The Little Pioneers, which partnered with a local Denver primary school to provide tuition-free music classes for elementary school kids—mostly from immigrant families—who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them. “The kids often felt homesick and excluded, so music was an outlet of their emotions and feelings,” Argirova said.

Argirova credits her current success to the passion that grew from helping underprivileged students learn music, but also to fate. After being accepted by Cambridge for her PhD, she realized that without a scholarship she would have to find work. Feeling down on her luck, Argirova visited a good friend who had a son with autism looking for a piano teacher. Argirova realized that there was a gap in music education, and after research with and mentorship by another female entrepreneur, she was able to fulfill her dream of opening a music school for students with autism.

What emerged from that dream is now The London Music Box, which employs seven teachers along with Argirova. “London Music Box is embedded in the idea that you have to think outside the box when teaching music,” Argirova said. The company has received tremendous grassroots support, evidenced by the 6,000 votes received to win her prestigious Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Eventually, Argirova wants to grow her business to include dance, art, and other music classes, and she would like to start a scholarship to support other eastern European students of music to study at DU. She also wants to continue helping those with a passion for music, whether through in-person talks, workshops, or webinars.

Her words of wisdom? To “never ever give up,” to practice patience, resilience, and—most importantly—to understand why your dream is important to you.

To get in touch with Gergana and find out more about London Music Box, visit: www.londonmusicbox.com@LondonMusicBox, or London Music Box on Facebook.

See related stories on the DU AHSS Newsroom

DU Alumna Makes a Splash as the Children’s Museum Artist-in-Residence


The Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus is home to a bustling network of kids running, jumping, puzzling, and even painting. Nestled among the jungle gyms, make-believe dentist’s office, and clay studios, is DU alumna Julia Rymer (BFA ’00, painting). As the Children’s Museum’s latest artist-in-residence, Rymer has been honing her skills as an artist and educator while working with museum patrons.

During the month of January, the museum was focused on fostering social emotional development and self-growth. It was a synergistic move by the museum to choose Rymer, as she “has a wonderful and empathetic personality and an attitude that aims to welcome folks into the act of art-making with a focus on self-expression, the phenomenon of color theory, and the relation between people, their feelings, and colors,” said Salim Khoury, art programs coordinator.

Rymer graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelor’s in painting and continued to pursue art academically, graduating with an MFA from the Pratt Institute in New York. After working and teaching in commercial galleries, universities, and colleges in Colorado, Rymer moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009. She quickly realized that many young artists need mentors and entrepreneurial skills to achieve their goals. After returning to Denver in 2016, Rymer and fellow creative entrepreneur Jessica Loving-Campos co-founded artboss, a company which teaches communication, social media, and branding skills to budding creatives.

Her passion to teach doesn’t stop there. Rymer uses a variety of mediums with her Children’s Museum students, allowing them to explore texture, color, expression, and creativity. Mixing color has taken up much of her studio time, she said, as children are fascinated with the amount of experimentation it takes to produce colors such as pink or brown. Many of the parents and guardians join for studio time as well.

Rymer’s passion for art and teaching flourished during her time at DU, where the support, mentorship, and expression she received contributed to her success. “Liberal arts teaches you to think outside the box,” Rymer said. She also attributes her success to growing up with Colorado’s breathtaking landscapes and studying abroad in the South of France as an undergraduate.

Academic career aside, Rymer acknowledges the challenges of being an artist and tries not to focus on obstacle. She suggests rolling with the punches, managing priorities, and “always being true to your vision as an artist.”

In addition to her work with artboss and the Children’s Museum, Rymer exhibits her paintings throughout the United States and teaches classes for children and adults at the Curtis Center for the Arts in Greenwood Village. She’ll be in residence at the Children’s Museum’s through March 23. Her residency will conclude with a commissioned work on display in the museum’s collection.

To learn more, visit www.juliarymer.com.

[Photo credit: Andrew Han for the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus]

See related stories on the DU AHSS Newsroom 

Project 2: Day 319

Check out my final mini-podcast for my Advanced News writing and Reporting class, where I discuss gun ownership and the data of mass shootings in 2018 America.



Today is November 18th 2018 and today is the 319th day of the year. And with only 46 days remaining in the year, many people have turned their attention towards Thanksgiving meal planning and Christmas wish lists, but not as many are fortunate enough. Today may be the 319th day of the year but in 2018 alone there have been 315 shootings across America.

While the word “shooting” in our media driven world denotes the feelings of a mass shooting, not all gun discharges can be categorized as a mass shooting. 

Except in this case. 

According to the Gun Violence Archive there have been a total of 50,324 gun violence incidents this year, with 12,879 deaths. 

But the 315 shootings are categorized as a “mass shooting” because there were 4 or more victims injured or killed excluding the suspect or perpetrator within one location.

Last year, 2017, there were 346 mass shootings, and the highest rates of mass shootings came from 2016 with a total annual report of 382. 

While Mass Shootings have not reached an all-time high since 2016 many families, students, and individuals are still extremely worried about the consistency that mass shootings have taken place. 

Just recently on November 7th in Thousand Oaks, California, just North of LA, 13 individuals were murdered with 2 injured. What’s increasingly nerve-racking about this particular shooting is that many of the victims from the Las Vegas Shooting from October 1 in 2017 were at the Thousand Oaks shooting. The Las Vegas shooting murdered 59 individuals and injured 441 others. 

Gun Ownership and Gun Safety have become a major predicament within the United States, where the country can be seen as split between believing in their right to bear arms and the belief that guns should not permitted within any public or private area outside military.

Mary Cole, a senior at the University of Denver believes that guns should not be allowed anywhere, not on campuses, not in homes, and especially not concealed carry.

Mass shootings have been on the rise since the Sandy Hook Elementary school in  Newtown, Connecticut on a December day of 2012 where a gunman walked into a classroom, killing 20 children, six adults and himself. Since then, more than 1,900 mass  shootings have occurred.

Many individuals who are fearful of gun owners believe that there should be stricter rules and background checks for those that are trying to obtain ownership. And their not alone. Drew Hopkinson, a senior at the University of Denver studying mechanical engineering is a member of the National Rifle Association, and believes the same things.

Drew Hopkinson, a senior at the University of Denver and a member of the National Rifle Association has the same safety concerns as many who do not believe in the right to carry guns. Believing that there should be stricter background and mental health checks for those looking to own, but does believe those who have never handled guns do not understand how much safety there is around the education.

But currently these quote on quote strict background checks that are currently taking place are not doing enough. Where according to an article by Vox News in conjunction with data from gunpolicy.org, and the United Nations Development Programme, a “vast majority of guns used in 19 recent mass shootings were bought legally and with a federal background check. At least nine gunmen had criminal histories or documented mental health problems that did not prevent them from obtaining their weapons”. This particular articles data was updated today, November 18th at 3:31pm.

A lot of misconceptions have penetrated the gun safety and ownership debate but it can be rationalized that both sides believe gun safety is a priority, even if ownership continues to be debated.

The World of Twitter and Journalism Part 4

October has come to a very spooky end and the world of journalism has not taken it lightly. Here are my news-worthy tweets from the month of October ranging from homelessness, candy creation, and migrant children. Check out all of my tweets @Jstraaton. Make sure to also check out my podcast, Mile High Food exploring the food culture in Denver, from the history of popular dishes originating in Denver to not so well known restaurants near the University of Denver. Join me and my host Nina on Soundcloud.

Migrating Lives

Migrant child custody length has nearly doubled according to the Department of Health and Human Services, rising from 34 to 59 days. Concerns over emotional tole and physical health of these children continue to be questioned without any answers, rising rates of anxiety and depression are leading to violent outbursts and escape attempts. The Trump Administration continues to invoke harsh rhetoric and policies making it hard for children to be placed with sponsors.


Springy, Soft, and Elastic

QQ is the way to describe the springy, soft, and elastic texture that many Taiwanese cooks are striving after. Found in both sweet and savory treats this texture can also be found throughout many asian countries, but why hasn’t it made its way across the rest of the world? Similar to al-dente, this gooey texture is so popular among the population that “When you eat it, you will be in a good mood”.


Let’s Eat!

Two slices of bread, a little meat, maybe some veggies and condiments and you have your very own sandwich. And getting the Earl of Sandwich to talk about his favorite type of sandwich is not as hard as it sounds. Monatgu, the Earl of Sandwich, is a “descendant of John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who is often credited as the inventor of the sandwich”. A fun article that brings together culinary inventions and history has a real story to tell.


You Got Duped! What Did You Expect?

Honesty, what did you expect if you’re trying to buy a Banksy painting. Banksy made a very obvious statement when his “girl with a red heart-shaped balloon” painting sold for $1.1 million and then was immediately shredded. Was this to state how art, specifically his art, should never be bought, or is it an internal reflection on the painting itself about loss? Check out the video to see the painting being shredded by an internal shredder in the frame.


4 Day Work Week

Colorado is looking at a 4 day school week, claiming that it reduces stress, saves on transportation and utilities costs, and even reduces absences by teachers and students. But of the 600 districts that have recently shifted to a four day school week many parents are concerned with how to occupy their child’s day. But the superintendent of Salida School District in Colorado says that it has saved their school $60,000/year, and in a time where school cuts are often being made this becomes as huge improvement.


Life or Death

Sex workers in America are constantly hiding from law enforcement, displaying themselves as masseuses trying to provide money for themselves or family in another country. Amid colorful and bright pictures by the New York Times shows the story of women who are beaten, raped, and robbed for just trying to provide a living for themselves. Law enforcement acts as a safe haven but these women know that if that catch you, you’ll be deported or worse.


Sexual Abuse Allegations and the Catholic Church

Betrayal, deceit, and rumors have marked the catholic church with sexual abuse allegations for year but now, amid stories of confused devote catholics comes the realization that their devotion may have been mislead. The individual sees how the religion stands with their marginalization but the church has a long way to go.


Midterm Election Season

With the Midterms coming to a close its important to understand the basics if you’ve never voted before. This interactive and collapsable map gives guides and directions to understanding what would happen if the democrats or republicans gain power, who are the big-wigs of each party and if there’s a possibility of voting late.


What Are You fighting for?

And to better understand what exactly your vote is going towards is a battlefield map illuminating the issues for control of the House. Grouped by social and cultural characteristics they share comes the Metro Melting Pot, Wealthy Suburbs, Outer Suburbs, the Open West, and the Rural Trump Country. These five groups will help determine the control over roughly 75 seats in the House.


Creepy Creations

For Halloween, the New York Times Magazine put out an amazing edition all about candy; how you taste it, how its made, and even the most popular candies in each country. Kit Kats, being a world favorite, have become quite popular in Japan. So popular that the flavors have moved past just chocolate to more interesting creations like wasabi, strawberry, and my favorite matcha.


Homeless From Birth

Times are tough for families in homeless shelters, and times are even tougher for those born directly into homelessness. With 11,234 children under 6 living in a shelter system, Baby Antonio become 1 of 60,000 people that are housed in New York City shelters daily. An epidemic on the rise in many cities, families are struggling to find their basic needs while be entrenched in a system of marginalization.

Picking Where Your Student Goes to School Matters


With the growing number of alternative school types, along with the struggle parents and students have with the school lottery program, many parents are wondering what is the best type of school for their child. What will lead their child to a great academic, social, and professional life while incorporating the best teaching method to achieve those results.

The type of school a student attends effects their chances of getting into college and how academically successful you are. Clear advantages have been made between higher prestige schools, such as private or well-know to be rigorous schools, and the chances of attending an ivy league or being successful within a student’s college career. The current education reform that is slowly taking place within our country is a good indicator that many students are not meeting their, and the countries, need for success due to their academic preparedness for college, if they are able to attend at all. The Harvard Crimson, Harvard’s daily student newspaper, reported that 6% of admitted students came from the same 10 high schools for their 2017 class. Making it obvious that where a student attends school before college matters.

Often, communities are home to traditional public high schools along with several options for either private or alternative styles of education; such as the charter, magnet, or Montessori school systems. The differences between each of these school systems is based on social and political variances. Including but not limited to tuition rates, population and racial rates, dependency or independency from the state, etc.

Public Schools

As many Americans would suspect, traditional public district-run schools have the highest population rates among students in the United States. However, public schools still remain extremely controversial since the days even before Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Due to many factors such as district lines, tuition rates, population rates, dependency or independency from the state, ethnicity rates, urban vs. rural location, low- income and free and reduced lunch rates etc, public schools remain a hit or miss.

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Matthew Meyer, senior at the University of Denver studying Construction Management who attended a Denver Public school had a very similar respect for his institution as many private school students. Instead of being unprepared for college he felt as if his high school classes were harder than any college class he’s taken so far due to the fact that his high school has adequately prepared him for college. “I wouldn’t say my high school pushed us to do super well, like they let those kids skim by and some went to college and some didn’t. So there was a lot of opportunity to apply yourself if you really wanted to but also the option to float through high school”.

Private Schools

Private schools tend to bring a strong religious orientation along with rigorous academics. According to the National Center for Education Statistics “In fall 2015, some 5.8 million students were enrolled in private elementary and secondary schools. Thirty-six percent of private school students were enrolled in Catholic schools, 39 percent were enrolled in other religiously affiliated schools, and 24 percent were enrolled in nonsectarian schools”. This some 5.8 million students comes out to about 10% of the total student population within the Unites States.

However, even with the large percentage of students in the private school systems, private schools continue to remain extremely segregated where close to 70% of Catholic, Non-sectarian, and other religious oriented private schools hold a white student population. And in addition due to their hefty tuition, private schools have honed the stereotype of elitism and white privilege.

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Mary Cole, a senior at the University of Denver studying psychology and communications attended Georgetown Prepatory School, an all-girls high school in Washington D.C.. “Every single person had a 100% college attendance rate, it made it really really challenging. I think my high school was harder than any college class I’ve ever taken”. Georgetown Prepatory School sounds familiar because Ms. Cole’s brother school was home to one Mr. Brett Kavanuagh, the Supreme Court elect under scrutiny and FBI investigation for sexual misconduct allegations. When asked about the level of preparedness Ms. Cole felt for college she responded, “I felt overly prepared for college, and I think that they gave us the tools to do well in college and stay motivated and keep us all within time management”. However in terms of challenges that Ms. Cole faced when attending her high school she felt that she was immersed in privilege. “All the students were privileged and there wasn’t much diversity. It was a huge change, everyone was very like minded within the school and grew up in a very certain way and coming to college was a big change”. 

Similar to other private schools, Ms. Cole’s had a very small population which made it easy for her to know everyone. However, Georgetown Prepatory has a strong tradition of keeping students of alumni within their schools. A straight lineage of Georgetown attendance can be made from Ms. Cole’s grandmother through her father, her aunt and to both her older and twin sister. Ms. Cole wasn’t a fan at first of attending her all-girls catholic high school compared to the more diverse but academically worse public high school in her hometown, a 45 minute drive from Georgetown Prep. But lineage is important to Georgetown Prep and many other private schools, and it is often more difficult for someone of new lineage to attend these schools.

Public Charter Schools

Public Charter schools have more recently been giving students the ability to move out of their own neighborhoods and into schools with greater accountability and independency from the government regulated school curriculum. Charter schools are essentially “public schools of choice” where students elect to attend rather than their own public district school, and where teachers have more autonomy to design their classroom to the needs of their students.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools boasts “in just the last decade, charter school enrollment has nearly tripled from 1.2 million students in 2006-07 to 3.1 million this year”. In addition Public Charter Schools are known to have a closer racial diversity rates than Private schools (NCES). And Colorado has been found to have the third highest percentage of public school student enrolled in public charter schools at 12%, under D.C. at 43% and Arizona at 16%.

Montessori Schools (Innovative Schools)

Innovative schools encompass many different approaches to education. Montessori schools incorporate student specific learning, where other schools incorporate STEM or A-STEM directed academics (Arts-science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Essentially, innovative schools work to incorporate new and exciting teaching models to help students achieve they way in which they learn.

Preston Anderson, a freshman at Bowdoin College attended Beacon Academy, a Montessori school in Evanston, Illinois and believes in the non-structured education system within his high school. “I enjoyed the ability to work at my own pace and on projects that we thought were important to our lives and our time period compared to the rigid structure of a public schools curriculum. And the incorporation of the IB programs and the constant belief in mastery rather than memorization in each field we learn about is what I think really prepared me for college”.

Denver Public School System

However, the students interviewed for this project all have something very important in common; they all attend the University of Denver or other well-known and reputable four-year colleges with a substantial ACT/SAT rate. All the students who attend these schools fall into the higher range of ACT/SAT rates among the rest of the country, where these colleges expect students to be adequately prepared before they begin. So what does this mean for the students of Denver, Colorado’s high school districts?

Denver has always been well known to have struggled in the education department even with the education reforms taking place there’s currently not much hope for Denver’s public schools. Based on the annual School Performance Framework that each school receives, over 140 Colorado public schools received either the lowest or second lowest score on the test. The score is based on the student’s success rates in their English and Math tests. And more interestingly, the Denver Public School has more than half of its students at either charter or innovation schools rather than traditional district schools, according to the Denver Public Schools 2017-18 report.

Similar to many other large cities, the Denver Public School system allows for student to choice into almost any traditional, innovative, or charter school within their system. Almost all students in “transition grades”, meaning kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades where you choice into the school of your choice, get into their first choice. Comparatively to New York where the lottery and choice programs are falling short, Denver continues to hold high participation and match rates.

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Due to this system, parents and students are able to leave their traditional district-run schools if they are under performing and attend higher ranked schools albeit farther away. This is an extremely innovative step for students of color who live in school districts that are falling short academically. In fact, among Denver’s charter and innovation schools, they are serving a higher percentage of low-income and students of color compared to traditional district-run schools.

But in terms of actually being accepted and attending a four year college often times students of the Denver Public School system are still falling short. Only 51% of students who graduated in 2017 enrolled for a four year college for the following fall semester. Not to diminish this huge improvement from last year where only 49% of graduates enrolled. This could be due to the proficiency gaps between students of color, English Language Learners, non-English language learners, and low-income students compared to the wealthier, white students of the Denver Public School system.

Patrick Curley, majoring in Engineering at DU, with siblings in the Denver Public School system believe that because their school does not meet the standards that they need to adequately succeed in college they are taking college prepatory courses outside of the normal school day. “These courses are enhancing their math skills to the level of high school sophomores when they are only 8th graders themselves, they’re preparing for college so far ahead of time”.

When it comes to picking the best school for a student it might all be coming down to getting into a higher ranking school and adding in extra classes to improve their success rate, families are no longer trusting the state-run schools in their district.

Drew Scott a senior majoring in international studies admitted that, “I chose to go to a school that wasn’t in my district because it wasn’t performing as well as the school I was supposed to attend. A lot of kids that ended up staying at that school didn’t get into colleges or chose not to go to college.

Lesson learned here is where you choose to send your students to school matter but that might mean sacrificing another student’s education. So, what can we do to ensure everyone has equal opportunity to a good education?

Mile High Food: A Denver Food Podcast

The Mile High Food is a podcast on Denver’s food business to what’s trending in the culinary world right now, episodes can be found on SoundCloud airing most Fridays.


Food: you love it, you eat, you take photos of it, and now it’s time to listen to it.

Denver is becoming a food-centric city, opening new gateways to the culinary world and our new podcast explores the food culture, business, and excitement taking place. We’ll be exploring everything from marijuana based food to the history of popular dishes invented in Denver, and we’ll even be taking a look at new restaurants in the Denver area.

This podcast hosted by Nina Petrovic and Julia Straaton are two DU students with hungry stomachs and very little background in food. This podcast aims at entertaining and informing listeners about everything you didn’t know about Denver’s food culture. Although food is traditionally a physical and visual experience, we believe that there is much more to celebrate about food besides eating it. We’ll be learning along with you, the listeners, as much as you’re learning from us.

Listen to our Podcast on SoundCloud coming out on most Fridays (Oct. 12- Nov. 7). Hopefully you’ll be listening on empty stomachs and an enthusiasm to explore Denver’s Food scene. Let’s get hungry.

A Look into the World of Twitter and Journalism Part 3

With the re-instatement of the school year, journalism and Twitter have been working side-by-side to bring us the best articles that can be found. Specifically, I have been looking into articles that are both news-worthy but also have a niche interest for myself. Continue to follow me on Twitter at @Jstraaton for some of the best and more interesting articles to be found, this quarter under #mfjsstorytellers


Interviews with Only the Best

With women making headway in multiple facets of life, Marie Claire deservedly delves into Jodie Whittaker’s role as the first female Doctor on Doctor Who.  A compelling interview shows how Whittaker isn’t scared to play the Doctor saying “the best thing for me though is that, for the first time in my life, I am not playing a stereotypical woman because as much as I approach everything as an actor, I am continually labelled by the female version of that character”. Get excited for the newest and possibly the most progressive season of the longest running show in history this October.


Exploring Tradition

This New York Times article features a combination of history and culture to show the importance of community within the African- American community through the weekly fish frys. ““The work schedule on the plantation would slow down by noon on Saturday, so enslaved people had the rest of that day to do what they wanted,” Mr. Miller said”. The article alone features vibrant pictures able to tell their own story out of very little.


Prospective isn’t Always Seen

Another NYT’s article featuring the currently very news-worthy of topic mental health and transit suicides has New York and it’s writers thinking from a very different perspective. As the article states, “nearly 900 incidents last year in which someone was on the tracks or was hit by a train after getting too close while on the platform”. But a closer look into the article shows an over-arching theme of dismissiveness of the issues of mental health, where interviews were aimed at the problem of delayed trains due to these incidents.


Unexpected Interests

Who knew an article on Ranch dressing, apparently the U.S.’s favorite dressing, could spark such an in-depth historical and cultural look into American society. Referencing “The Simpsons”, junk food, and culinary endeavours, this article showcases the weird, but ever-enticing, hold Ranch dressing has in our world.


Personal Stories

Stunning photography mixed with a personal touch comes an article on Dennis Follensbee a hiker pursuing the ever-decreasing “moment of silence” brought to you by nature itself. Sharing insight into one man’s personal dream against the continuous increase of noise pollution, “given the loud crowds, some hikers have taken to avoiding the tallest mountains, making lists instead of quieter getaways”.


Hard- Hitting and News-Worthy

In a monumental movement towards peace, North and South Korea declared to be pursuing “permanent” and “solid” peace between the two countries after more than a decade since their 1st summit, almost a decade ago. Additionally, President Trump has even given his blessing between the union, declaring further political support by the U.S..

A Look in the World of Twitter and Design Part 2

May has brought us some fantastic articles to look. This month it was all about rebranding and revamping but also making sure even the smallest of details fits in with the larger design you’re going for. Check out my twitter posts below from the month of May and learn how companies are working past the conventional design practices.


Design in Other Areas

Design and layout aren’t just in the world of magazines but can be even in the way a piece of art is presented. Take a look at Dulce Pinzón’s The Real Story of Superheros where she looks at immigrant workers as being the real superheros of the US. While the picture’s use of color, layout, and dynamics are amazing its important to note the way that each picture is presented, a one line sentence of who the person is, where they are from originally, their job and how much they send home every month. Take a note from Pinzón and think about how you want to portray/display and even sell your design.


Revamping Culinary Magazines 

A wave of young editors are taking the culinary magazine world by storm with sophisticated print styles and a strong passion for their subjects. “What these titles lack in size or legacy, they make up for in originality and ambition, often zooming in on stories that have been overlooked or misrepresented in traditional magazines, and publishing them on their own terms”. With cut backs and shrinkings in major culinary magazine companies, these small circulations and staff sizes are proving to be breaking grounds even with some off-putting names such as Mold and Toothache.


Laying out the New York Times

A look into how the New York Times lays out their front page with all of its challenge of trying to incorporate multiple ingredients such as articles, headlines, photographs, information graphics. Considered as a puzzle by the editors its a challenge to layout of the front page in terms of modulation, rhythm and balance.


Taking Risks

You thought you were cool but in actuality your design was just like everyone else, that’s why 2018 called for riskier designs, riskier gifs, and a new sense of joie de vivre. Simplicity and conventional designs are in the past and this article details exactly what will inspire the next wave of graphic design trends; bold and handwritten fonts, better branded social media outlets, unconventional color usage, etc. Brands such as polaroid, mailchimp and many others have redesigned their looks to appeal to a more interesting and creative outlet. Even magazines such as Fast company have rebranded their sense of style to fit in with these unique and self- expressive designs.


Font and Its Reasoning

Setting the correct body text means that the audience won’t be distracted by an unusual pattern scheme and it won’t take away from the larger overall design of the magazine. The minute details are the most important and its easier to start by picking out your body text and working outward to make sure that the whole design works together. And a good tip to note that the article outlines is that “though sans serif fonts is a bit harder to read than serif fonts, you should increase the leading up to 135-140% for easier line to line eye transition”.


Designing Past Paper

Designing isn’t such for the paper world, but can incorporate an experience with elements that you can’t see or feel. And bringing in my love of restaurants, designing for restaurants means you design for comfort and excitement at the same time. For restaurants, its all about lighting, comfortable seats, and sound level but these tips can be transferred over to layout. Restaurant design is the art of designing for everyone’s needs.


Principles of Design

Going along with the psychology of design, in order to create a perfect layout one must consider all the elements of design. Similar to how photographers layout a photo, designers must layout with the intent to visually appease the audience. These six principles will help you find everything from balance to perspective into your work. While the design elements to avoid are picture cutouts, tilts, vertical typography, mortises, and overlaps.


Brilliant Corporate Fonts

The typography of a major company may not be something you focus on, but it is everything when creating a brand. The seamlessness of the typeface is what makes a company such as Vogue in Bodoni, Fedex in Futura and Spotify in Proxima Nova to be clean, legible but also stand out. This link gives you a helpful guide into picking the correct corporate font for you.

A Look in the World of Twitter and Design

Twitter has been keeping up with the world of Digital Design and so have I. Check out my twitter to see what’s happening in the world of Design News. Throughout my Digital Graphic Design course I’ll be updating my Twitter with relevant design news using the #NewsDesign, this news ranges from helpful guidelines and websites to creative  design news, stay tuned! Below are my tweets from the month of April, 2018.


Better Typesetting Tips

These 5 tips to better your typesetting skills remind readers that constant learning and creativity are key but in the end the customer is always right…kind of. The artist will always have a vision but should mold that vision to work with what the customer wants. Taking the time to learn, read, and research new forms of type will ultimately help the project in the long run while also expanding the artist’s view. Check out the online resources available through the links.


Evolving Magazine Trends

Predicted magazine trends for 2017 are now out and are more creative than ever. Major magazines have already locked their themes down but smaller, independent magazines have more room to grow and express their individuality, creating wildly transformative covers. But editors of independent magazine are starting to get annoyed with having to keep up their perfected magazines. Magazine editors are predicting everything from modest to real growth, growth in radical political titles in conjunction with Trump’s election, and even smaller to lighter magazine sizes coming from those who want to continue creating on their own. What could be coming in the next few years?


A Look Back in Time

A look at 2008’s best magazine designs from the Society of Publication Designers, SPD, includes everything from Wired, to New York, from Fortune to Bon Appetite with captivating and enticing layouts, designs, photography, illustrations, and covers. Highlights of the industry’s premier winners are designated into different award sections such as infographics, which were “white-hot”. Recognition of these winners helps capture the evolution of magazine design throughout the years.


Abstract to Concept

dezeen takes a look as Graphic Studio MuirMcNeil generates 8,000 unique abstract covers for Eye magazine. Created by enabling a million unique designs from a limited range of original designs, known as seeds, allows large companies, such as Coca-cola and Nutella, to “generate millions of unique label designs for its various different campaigns”.


For the Good, there is the Bad

We all know how Buzzfeed loves to point out people’s mistakes but these definitely take the cake. 28 newspaper and magazine layout disasters will make you take a second look at your own layouts, or in Buzzfeed’s words “how not to edit a publication”. Honestly, what were these people thinking.


Retail Revolution

With the continuous retail downsizing of large companies and box stores taking place in the U.S. retails are boosting their design game in order to boost retail sales. Connected to Millennial and Gen Z generations needing to be precise with how they spend their money, retailers are finding other ways to attract costumers. Both package and store designs are specifically changing with social media in mind in order to tailor to costumers. Color, package, and social media cohesion are being used to promote and share products.


Back to Old Designs

Flip phones might be a thing of the past but soon you’ll be able to hang-up on someone with the same vigor as the early 2000s. Designers are re-inventing the smart phone and tablets to be able to fold their screens. While this design is innovative, will it be useful or even be able to integrate seamlessly into tech culture today? Release is coming up with prospective dates at late 2018 or early 2019.


The Top Three

The world’s best-designed newspapers were announced by The Society for News Design, SND, on Friday March 23, 2018.  Judges announced that the three newspapers selected, The New York Times, Die Zeit, and Het Parool won for reasons based on “astonishing consistency”, “elimination of the box”, and “mastery of typography”, respectively. Next time you’re in New York, the Netherlands, or Germany pick one up and check it out.


Typographers & Instagram

Howdesign looks at the top ten typographers to follow on Instagram. Type might sound old news but it is everything when it comes to company design and success. With Instagram being one of the top sharing platforms its important to constantly update, share, and learn from the top designers. Everything from cursive, illustrations, and logos are all included.


Keep checking back for more Design News from Twitter!

Uber’s Corporate Culture Threatens Company

Everyone knows Uber. You use it, your parents use it, even your grandmother uses it. But this widely popular ride-sharing service has quite a disruptive, and possibly immoral, corporate company. Fighting rival companies, legislations, regulations and even the taxi industry, Uber has pushed far and wide into the business world- but at a great cost.

Continue reading “Uber’s Corporate Culture Threatens Company”