Nourish Magazine

How can we adapt and improve our food systems to create kinder, healthier communities?
Project Overview
Nourish is a quarterly publication about food and how it shapes our world. Nourish brings readers fresh information with intentionality and care, so they can stay up to date on advances in the food justice world, and can up their skills in a variety of related areas, such as herbalism and foraging.

The Fall Equinox issue covers season-specific topics such as foraging, as well as current developments in the world of food justice.
  • Indigenous sovereignty
  • Policy and events
  • Urban agriculture
  • Plant medicine
  • Climate change and sustainability
  • International News
  • Fiction (poetry, prose, comics)
Multiple spreads of the Fall Equinox issue
Research & Audience
Food systems are the heartbeat of a community. From agriculture to health to culture, food permeates every aspect of our lives. Thus it makes sense food is impacted - and in turn impacts - some of the most pressing issues of our day: climate change, deforestation and biodiversity, public health, food deserts, and human rights. In the hyper-speed pace of modern-day life, news of the food justice world can build around a specific situation, gaining a vertiginous pace that can often miss out on nuance or even accuracy. 
The conversations, reflections, and insights that can impact people's lives and create change in communities often are built at a slower pace. “The medicine is in the relationship,” says author Robin Wall Kimmerer.

This is why Nourish comes out 4 times a year, and it covers longer, slow digest content that stays relevant over time.
I reflected and iterated on every aspect of the magazine - typography, layout, illustration, photography. I refined these aspects over time to make the tone and style of the magazine clear, sharp, and easily recognizable.
Focus Areas
The interests of our readers include herbalism, urban gardening, farming, education, social work, public health, foraging, science, anthropology, organizing, agriculture, cooking, etc.
Illustrated image of Greenlake park with park signs. Flat colors indicate landscape elements.
Mushroom Hunting spread and cover
Editorial Illustration
Successful editorial illustrations are idea-driven, and they do not just complement a written piece, they enhance the story and invite reflection. I focused on editorial illustration because I wanted to expand my skill set in visual storytelling.

"Editorial illustration often times requires very unique solutions to highly complex abstract ideas and texts aimed for adult audiences. It can be a sort of brain teaser for an illustrator, a tricky case to crack. Intellectually it’s a very challenging field." - Professional illustrator Denis Zilber.

The illustration style I chose is based on the identity and audience of the magazine: humanistic, warm, not entirely representational. The front and back covers tell the same story from different angles - highlighting that so many of the issues discussed in the magazine change radically based on perspective.

The center spread is about one of my favorite pieces: an interview with indigenous author and scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer. In this interview, she discusses how gratitude can radically change our connections, and how it could spread like spores or a pandemic.
Independent Study
As part of Independent Study, I dove deep into the world of editorial illustration. Learning about what makes editorial illustrations different and successful was a challenging and exciting journey.

For this issue of Nourish, I illustrated the front and back covers, and the center spread (from the article "a contagion of gratitude", which is an interview with indigenous author and scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer).
Front and back covers
Lessons Learned & Next Steps
Creating layouts for Nourish was a fun and intense part of this project. While I did my best to incorporate imagery dynamically, using a traditional collage technique (good ol’ paper and glue) could allow me to arrive at other, perhaps more successful solutions for layouts. 

Additionally, part of my original vision was to include 1 small sheet of seed paper every season with relevant plants that are native and support biodiversity. I also wanted to include a national directory of seed banks, slow food, and food justice organizations. 

A natural continuation of the project would be to carry out a full branding experience for Nourish, which would include designing the other 3 issues of the year, desktop and mobile sites, and the directory of national resources and organizations.
Nourish - like all design - was all about paying as much attention to the micro as to the macro aspects. I developed not only the overall branding and content but also paid careful attention to every aspect of microtypography; from the illustration tone to every feather on the starling jay’s wings.

Having a solid work plan and time management skills were keys to success. In the future, I will build additional time in project timelines to take a visual break, and come back to the project with fresh eyes for final edits and adjustments.