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

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