Next City

Defining New Media’s Role in the 21st Century City

Next City is a national urban affairs magazine and non-profit organization based in Philadelphia. When Next City (then the Next American City) published its first issue, it was ahead of its time. Few people were talking about how cities were hubs of creativity and innovation that would drive the global economy into the 21st century. The US was still reeling post 9/11, was at war in Afghanistan and entering the Iraq War. Iphones, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram did not exist yet.

It was an exciting time to work for a new media organization as all of these changes were taking place. For the next ten years while I was Next City’s creative director, I was able to experiment and learn from these constant shifts first hand, as I worked closely with the team to design the printed magazine, re-imagine and maintain the brands digital presence, plan and design events, and to strategize and create various publications and other communications materials that supported our mission. During this time I learned an incredible amount about cities, publishing, new media, and how design can play a crucial role in bringing these things together and say something truly unique.

Forefront
Nearly a decade after Next American City was founded, there had been a fundamental paradigm shift –cities are now widely recognized as the sources of cultural innovation and economic growth. To match this shift in thinking, Next American City launched a weekly series of long-form articles about cities around the world. The project was called Forefront and it allowed us to reach a much bigger audience than our print magazine, and gave us more time to focus our energy on creating great content and also produce international reporting.

As part of the Forefront initiative, we rebuilt the website from the ground up. We considered how to better utilize photography and infographics, make our long-form stories easier to read, and how to best take advantage of emerging social media. We also developed the Forefront app for the then new technology of the iPad. All of these new formats were lovingly branded with a refreshed visual identity.

The World Urban Forum
Organized and convened by UN-Habitat, the World Urban Forum has become the foremost international gathering for exchanging views and experiences on sustainable urbanization. The conferences inclusive nature and high-level participation make it the premier international gathering on urban issues. Next City participated in numerous UN events, which you can find more information on here.

Vanguard Conference
Next City also organizes the Vanguard conference, which is an annual gathering of rising urban leaders working to improve cities across various sectors, including urban planning, community development, entrepreneurship, government, transportation, sustainability, and media. Because the event takes place in a different urban center each year, we create a new visual identity each year that draws inspiration from that city, and apply it to the program, exhibition and event signage, badges and other associated collateral. So far we’ve hosted the Vanguard in cities like Montreal, New Castle, Chattanooga, and New Orleans, just to name just a few.

Research Reports and Publications
Along with the articles published on a daily and weekly basis on the Next City site, we also regularly published printed books and reports (which were  produced in both ePub and PDF format). The publications were created in collaboration with leading journalists or researchers in the field of urbanism, such as Toni L. Griffin, Jan Gehl and Bruce Katz.

Project

Services

Industries

1 Faster Than_

Global Advertising Campaign

Adidas Running

2 Carbon Social Club

Identity Design

Podcast

3 PSFK

Digital Design & Strategy

Trend Forecasting

4 256

Digital Design & Strategy

Gaming

5 Good For One Fare

Installation and Book

Self-Initiated

6 Strategic HR

Book Design

Strategy & Business

7 Adidas Ultraboost 19

Global Advertising Campaign

Running Sports

8 City as Character

Book Design

Self-Initiated

9 Asian Arts Initiative

Book Design

Arts & Culture

10 Kill Screen

Digital Design & Strategy

Gaming

11 The World by Train

Book Design

Self Initiated

12 Next City Anniversary

Editorial Design

Urbanism

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

Installation and Publication

Self-Initiated

14 Philagrafika

Book Design

Publishing

15 Michael Snow / Photo-Centric

Book Design

Arts & Culture

16 LoDown x Radical Cutup

Editorial Design

Fashion, Arts & Culture

17 The Pool

Graphic Identity

Fashion

18 The World Stage

Strategic Design, Publishing

Non-Profit

19 Next City

Strategic Design

Urbanism

20 Akustikplatten

Identity Design

Music

21 Heartworm Press

Book Design

Publishing

22 Letting Go

Book Design

Arts & Culture

23 Steve Powers

Strategic Design, Publishing

Art

24 The Stumbling Present

Book Design

Arts & Culture

25 Swindle

Art Direction, Design

Arts & Culture, Fashion

26 Common Touch

Art Direction, Book Design

Arts & Culture

27 City Limits

Art Direction, Design

Urbanism, Publishing

28 Minimal Risk

Graphic Identity

Fashion

29 Riverview

Web Design, Graphic Identity

Real Estate

30 Fels Policy Research Initiative

Web Design, Graphic Identity

Education

31 Red Collective

Graphic Identity

Real Estate

32 Room 21

Web Design, Graphic Identity

Arts & Culture

33 ICPH

Web Design

Non-Profit