Future Music Group

A few years after I started as the art director of Guitar World, a company called Future US bought the magazine with the goal of expanding the brand. I became the design director of the entire Music Group suite of publications. We pumped new life into Guitar Legends, Guitar World Acoustic and the Guitar World Buyer's Guide. We launched Future Music and Bass Guitar magazines, as well as a line of instructional DVDs and posterzines. We acquired Guitar One and Revolver magazines and folded them into the mix. At the height of activity, we were producing 72 issues per year of the various titles.

And as the Music Group grew, I was responsible for staffing the art department. What started with just me and one designer grew to an art staff of 12 art directors, designers, photo editors and retouchers. We built a photo studio in house, where many of the bigger portrait shoots, still life product photos and video lessons could be produced. 

In addition to staffing and managing the department, I was responsible for overseeing: the design of all covers that left the building, the overall look of the interior spreads, all redesigns that took place, design of the new product launches and maintenance of the art and photo department budgets. While serving as design director of the Music Group, I also remained the design director of Guitar World. And I also pitched in on feature design as needed for all the titles.

(All layouts below are my design, except where indicated.)

 

Guitar Legends

Each issue was devoted to a different band or musician. This was the most collaborative title we worked on. All the art directors in the department would get together to brainstorm the design direction for each issue (op-art graphics for Pink Floyd, woodcut type for Stevie Ray Vaughan) and then each art director designed one story in the magazine. It was a total team project.

 
 Art Director: Andy Omel. Designer: Julie Soltz.

Art Director: Andy Omel. Designer: Julie Soltz.

 
 
 

Bass Guitar

 
 
 Art Director: Andy Omel. Designer: Julie Soltz.

Art Director: Andy Omel. Designer: Julie Soltz.

 
 

Guitar World Acoustic

 
 

Revolver

I'd worked on Revolver a bit earlier in my career. So it was fun when the Future Music Group bought the magazine and added it to the stable.