City Limits Magazine

Investigative journalism at the dawn of the age of social media

City Limits was founded in February 1976 as black and white photocopied newsletter and resource for advocates in New York City’s housing rehabilitation movement. Over the next three decades, the publication would evolve to become an investigative monthly magazine that covered civic issues related to housing, education, criminal justice, the environment, economic and government policy.

City Limits relaunched in 2009—with a new business model—as an independent, start-up news media organization. As part of this new media endeavor, executive director Mark Anthony Thomas hired me as creative director. He challenged me to redefine the publications overall creative vision as a contemporary, internet-savvy and progressive print and digital magazine that existed to inform and empower the citizens of New York and the nation to create a more just city.

I completely redesigned the visual identity of the printed magazine and the website, giving the brand a bold and serious look and feel that reinforced the direct style of journalism contained in each issue. I art directed the magazine for three years, working closely with the City Limits team and our excellent photographers and journalists to assemble a publication that had an impact on the lives of New York City’s citizens by influencing policy and legislation that would directly affect them. Each issue featured beautiful, hard-hitting photography, extensively researched and reported long-form journalism, and numerous in-depth infographics that presented facts and figures clearly, revealing trends and insights that might otherwise have been overlooked.

During my time at City Limits, we received 20 journalism awards—including back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for producing America’s top local investigative reporting—and Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared a “City Limits” Day in New York City, proclaiming City Limits  “a model for NYC and the rest of the nation.”

Project

Type

For

1 Sea Change

Publication Design

Haverford University

2 Heartworm Reader Issue One

Publication Design

Heartworm Press

3 Fusio 4D

Art Direction and Design

Adidas

4 Slagerij DeSchuyt

Identity Design

Slagerij DeSchuyt

5 By Proxy

Publication Design

James Cohan Gallery

6 Carbon Social Club

Identity Design

Lauren GIfford

7 Watch Us Move

Art Direction & Design

Adidas

8 Memory Place Desire

Publication Design

Haverford University

9 Digital Anthropomorphism

Publication Design

Andre Gray

10 Louise Nevelson

Publication Design

Locks Gallery

11 Making: Your Life As An Artist

Publication Design

Andrew Simonet

12 TwoFiveSix

Website Design

TwoFiveSix

13 A Field Guide to Philadelphia's Public Art

Publication Design

City of Philadelphia

14 Elizabeth Atterbury

Publication Design

The Colby Museum

15 Good For One Fare

Publication & Installation Design

Self-Initiated

16 Strategic HR

Publication Design

Ed Krow

17 Ultraboost 19

Global Advertising Campaign

adidas

18 City as Protagonist

Publication Design

Self-Initiated

19 What We Want Is Here

Publication Design

Asian Arts Initiative

20 Killscreen

Website Design & Strategy

Killscreen

21 The World by Train

Publication Design

Self Initiated

22 Next City Aniversary

Editorial Design & Art Direction

Next City

23 An Inaccurate, Incomplete and Absolutely True History of the City of Philadelphia

Publication & Installation Design

Self-Initiated

24 Philagrafika 2010

Publication Design

Philagrafika

25 Michael Snow / Photo-Centric

Publication Design

Philadelphia Musuem Of Art

26 LoDown x Radical Cutup

Publication Design

LoDown Berlin

27 The Pool

Identity Design

The Pool

28 The World Stage

Exhibition Design

Next City

29 Depth of Surface

Publication Design

Philagrafika

30 Next City Magazine

Magazine Design

Next City

31 Akustikplatten

Identity Design

Julien Grefe

32 Heartworm Publications

Publication Design

Heartworm Press

33 Letting Go

Publication Design

Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

34 Steve Powers

Publication & Website Design

Steve Powers

35 The Stumbling Present

Publication Design

University of Santa Barbara

36 Swindle Magazine

Magazine Design

Roger Gastman & Shepard Fairey

37 Common Touch

Publication Design

Library Company of Philadelphia

38 Mural Arts @30

Publication Design

Mural Arts Program

39 City Limits Magazine

Magazine Design & Art Direction

City Limits

40 Fels Policy Research Initiative

Identity Design

University of Pennsylvania

41 Red Collective

Identity Design

Red Collective Real Estate Group

42 Haiku Song

Publication Design

Mural Arts Program

43 Room 21

Website & Identity Design

Barnes Foundation / Jace Clayton