Behind the Scenes: The Gray Issue's Amazing Technicolor Dreamcover

In the pages of our new fall issue, Gray, we celebrate the spectrum of thinking in the gray areas—where complex logic is key to understanding nuanced issues “from science to sports to smut,” as we wrote in our call for pitches. What you see here is the result of both of us taking some risks, and taking the time to read between the frames.

For the cover, I wanted to blur the lines of representational imagery in one way or another, and enlisted the help of a collaborator I trust from outside our Bitch team, Autumn Northcraft, to jump-start my gray matter and experiment with me.

In the business consulting world (where I worked just before coming to Bitch), strategists sometimes bring in someone smart who is not steeped in the world that you're in every day to bring new life into your work, help you see ideas that you might be overlooking. I liked that idea when I was starting this cover. Northcraft brings experience in both fashion photography and illustration, and I thought whatever we ended up with would have a dreamy, ambiguous quality and sense of suspended time that flavors her work. For this gray issue, we liked the idea of reading between the lines visually: forms emerging from fog, double-exposure photography, scrambled video, and static.

The Gray Issue cover

What you see here is the result of both of us taking some risks.

We became obsessed with capturing moments between frames of colorful, contemporary music videos on a very old TV, and Autumn was able to capture some happy accidents and still obsess over the starry, architecture-like forms we both liked so much. We had fun deciding which music video to bury in the secret scramble, but our hidden cover girl will remain secret…the media itself has become the message and she is all intangible technicolor. The hand-done lettering leads into all the great illustration that's featured in this issue, and gives a subtle shout out to the analog medium that we believe still thrives as a vital compliment to digital.

Sometimes, taking the time to see what's in between frames can offer surprising results.

Check out Autumn's profile (and her portfolio, or follow her beautiful work on instagram).

Kristin Rogers Brown is Bitch Media's art director. She believes in form, function, and delight in balance for good design.

by Kristin Rogers Brown
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Kristin Rogers Brown is a creative director, designer, and problem-solver. She was Bitch Media’s Art Director (2010-2018). When not designing, you can find her teaching illustration and design at PNCA or hoping to pet your dog. Follow her on twitter or instagram.

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