Design + Illustration

Slack's "Channels" Magazine Design and Art Direction

Art direction, branding, editorial design and illustration commissions for Slack’s first issue of Channels magazine, “The Way We Work.” Details of the template and layout design, typography and font selection, and all of the artists and contributors in the issue. Case study of graphic design and print design for the publication.

Channels – A Publication by Slack

Services: Art Direction, Branding, Editorial Design, Layout Design, Print Design

 Cover design of Channels magazine by Slack, "The Way We Work" cover illustration by Abbey Lossing.
 

Channels is a publication by Slack that explores how the modern workplace is evolving, what it takes to empower teams to deliver their best work, and the role technology can play in making our work lives simpler, more pleasant, and more productive – now and into the future.

Our internal design team was tasked with creating the identity for the publication overall, as well as designing the layout for the first issue and commissioning new artwork for each of the stories selected.

We chose to approach the artwork selection from an editorially-focused perspective, assigning a different artist and a unique style to each article, dictated by the content. This allowed the content to function independently, featuring Slack while not feeling like an overtly Slack-branded magazine.

The first issue, "The Way We Work," features three, distinct sections of content: the Past, Present, and Future of work. With this structure in mind, we commissioned full-spread lettering pieces to bookend and divide each section, creating a visual narrative and a pace to the content as the reader moves through the issue.

Editorial Staff

Lima Al-Azzeh
Rina Bander
Matt Haughey
Stuart Lovinggood
Hairol Ma
Evie Nagy
Anna Pickard
Trina Robinson

Art Department

Alice Bybee
Viet Huynh
Supriya Kalidas
Russell Shaw

Printed in Canada by Hemlock Printers.

Contributors

Chris Andre
Leandro Castelao
Eric Frommelt
Minda Honey
Timo Kuilder
Casey Labatt Simon
Abbey Lossing
Devon Maloney
Simone Massoni
Jordan Metcalf
Dan Misener
Jen Mussari
Garrett Rowland
Jonny Ruzzo
Señor Salme
Scott Schiller
Skinny Ships
Brittany Shoot
Nick Slater
Christina Ung
Israel G. Vargas
Audra Williams
Jason Williams
Jason Wong

 
 Slack's Channels magazine visual thesis presentation document showcased the selected artists, technical specs, typography choices and overall visual concept and art direction to the executive and leadership teams for the first issue's identity.
 
 

Excerpt from the Visual Thesis presentation...

"Channels are passageways — a medium for information to flow through; the container that knowledge comes in.

We want to represent this with a visual metaphor built around the space between — information and content happening between two points, connecting the dots and testing the boundaries. This takes shape through interesting ways for words or colors or illustrations to be confined in unique grid layouts or borders, and, when necessary, to break those confines."

 
 
 Magazine templates and layout design options for Slack's Channels publication.
 Channels magazine by Slack used a font selection and typography stack of Danmark, Atlas Grotesk and Atlas Typewriter, and Domaine Display Narrow and Domaine Text for the logotype, sans-serif and serif typefaces.
 
 

A sample of some of the layout templates for the content, as well as the final typography stack for the issue.

Danmark was used as the stencil font that created the masthead (a typeface with literal "channels" carved in and out of the letters); Atlas Grotesk was used for the sans-serif workhorse, and Atlas Typewriter for the monospace typography accenting the page furniture and rubriks; and Domaine Display Narrow and Domaine Text were the beautiful, rich serifs used for titling and in some body text.

(A huge, special thank you to Alison Colby for the final template design!)

 
 
 Close up detail of the cover for Channels magazine by Slack, with "The Way We Work" cover illustration by Abbey Lossing

"The Way We Work" Cover illustration by Abbey Lossing

Slack Channels magazine cover front and back
Abbey Lossing detail cover illustration
 Channels magazine masthead design
 "Past" lettering by Viet Huynh for Channels magazine features detailed blackletter custom typography on a full-spread of the book

"Past" lettering by Viet Huynh

 "A Short History of the Office" full spread illustration and lettering by Israel Vargas for Slack's Channels magazine

"A Short History of the Office" illustration by Israel Vargas

 "Welcome to the information age" timeline and history illustration of knowledge sharing as well as a sidebar of the history of slack so far, in Channels magazine.
 "Present" by Jason Wong, script lettering and custom typography as a full spread for Slack's Channels magazine

"Present" lettering by Jason Wong

 Simone Massoni's Best Friends at Work illustration for Slack's Channels magazine

"Why We Need Best Friends at Work" illustrations by Simone Massoni

 Spot illustration in the magazine layout design for Slack Channels article about best friends at work, illustration by Simone Massoni
 Make Work More Human illustrations and article titling by Skinny Ships for Slack's Channels magazine

"Make Work More Human" illustrations by Skinny Ships

skinny ships spot illustrations
 Detail of "make work more human" lettering and illustration by Skinny Ships for Channels Magazine by Slack
 Spread of reasons to use emoji at work in Slack's Channels magazine, with illustrations by Nick Slater

"8 Perfectly Reasonable Reasons to Use Emoji at Work" illustrations by Nick Slater

 "Building Winning Teams" in basketball and business lettering and article illustration by Jen Mussari for Slack's Channels magazine

"Building Winning Teams" lettering by Jen Mussari

"Andre Iguodala" portrait illustration by Jonny Ruzzo

 Portrait illustration of Andre Iguodala "Iggy" by Jonny Ruzzo for Slack's Channels magazine
 Portrait illustration of Andre Iguodala "Iggy" by Jonny Ruzzo for Slack's Channels magazine and pull quote custom lettering design by Jen Mussari

Erika Hall portrait photograph by Chris Andre

 "Future" of work lettering by Jordan Metcalf, custom typography design and full spread artwork commissioned by Slack for Channels Magazine.

"Future" lettering by Jordan Metcalf

 Leandro Castelao's custom article illustration for a piece about remote and distributed work teams commissioned by Slack for Channels magazine

"Working So Close and Yet So Far" illustrations by Leandro Castelao

Slack Channels distributed work teams
 Leandro Castelao's custom spot illustration for Channels Magazine article about distributed and remote teams features a gradient hand holding a wrench up
 Slack Channels magazine layout design for article The Teams of Tomorrow features a custom illustration commission from Timo Kuilder of people working together and a pulley system

"The Teams of Tomorrow" illustrations by Timo Kuilder

timo kuilder illustration detail
 Layout design of an article in Channels magazine by Slack features two people pulling a tension rope across the spread illustrated by Timo Kuilder
Slack apps unlock superpowers channels magazine

"Otherworldly Teamwork" illustration by Nick Slater

 Perfect workspace backpage article design and inside back cover of a photo of a tractor for Slack Channels magazine. Christina Ung illustrated the perfect workspace interviews with Jessica Hische and Chuck Klosterman.

"Two Creatives, A Café, and a Chimera" illustrations by Christina Ung

 

Press Check

 
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Channels Released at Slack's Frontiers 2018 Conference in San Francisco

 
 
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Photo by Bejzod Sirjani