Publishing Genius is a small publishing company in Baltimore founded by Adam Robinson. Their mission is to publish off-beat writings that really wow their audience. They publish books, novels, poetry, and comics. Most of the authors are local and come from around Baltimore as well as the artists who do the cover art for books.
I found out about this internship opportunity through Stephanie Barber, my Elements of Visual Thinking professor from freshman year. Last semester she had asked me to do the cover art for her new book Night Moves. Through that, she introduced me to Adam. After all the extensive work I put into doing the cover, he offered me the opportunity to be a graphic design intern with Publishing Genius.
I worked directly under Adam Robinson. He is the main editor of the company and decides what books get published along with making the final creative decisions. Throughout my internship with him, he allowed me to manage the projects, but was part of the process and guided me the entire time. I would send him ideas that he would then edit down—it was a constant back and forth collaborative process that really made me feel like I was an important asset to the company.
My first project I completed was to create images and banners for PublishingGenius.com. I made little concrete paintings that I photographed and turned into images for the website. After seeing the watercolor work I had done for Night Moves, Adam was really set on generating a new aesthetic for Publishing Genius for 2013. For all of the projects, I was doing art in real time and then manipulating the work digitally.
The second project I did (which turned out to take up the rest of the remaining time of the internship) was to create a design for the 2013 Publishing Genius Catalog. This involved managing all aspects of the project. The final product I designed was a tri-fold pamphlet of the 6 new books coming out this year with descriptions and data about each work. It makes me feel proud of myself to know that I created something from start to finish and let alone in a particular artistic area that I had not much knowledge in to begin with. Making the catalog also made me aware of all of the different decisions that can go into something- decisions as little as whether or not to add an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence to evoke a personality within the catalog.
My biggest take-away would be how important it is to not forget all of the different aspects that go into making something successful. Interning with Publishing Genius gave me a heightened realization of the non-artistic things I have to start thinking about with my work and career. Even from watching and hearing Adam talk about the kind of processes he goes through day-to-day with writers and artists is enlightening and educational to me. It’s important to have a synthesis of art and thinking aesthetically with a critical mindset.
- Ellen Phillips, Painting Major, Spring 2013