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spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer May 18, 2007

Students ‘dream up’ collaborative publication


The cover of Drem


A shot of one of the inside spreads of the new publication

RIT photography and graphic design students faced a monumental challenge during their waking hours—to produce a 100-page, full-color magazine in five weeks on the topic of dreams.

The project was for their editorial design course co-taught by Denis Defibaugh, professor of photography in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, and Lorrie Frear, assistant professor of graphic design in RIT’s School of Design.

“I think we shocked a lot of people in the time frame we did it,” says Frear.

All seniors, the 20 photo students and 20 graphic design students first brainstormed a theme and ultimately chose dreams.

“The theme was open to interpretation and seemed interesting for both design and photography,” says John Chiappone, fourth-year graphic design major and the magazine’s co-art director.

The class came up with the magazine’s title, Drem: Because Reality is Overrated, incorporating the acronym REM (rapid eye movement), the stage in the sleep cycle when dreaming occurs.

Modeled after a magazine-run environment, the students voted on a staff, with each position filled by a designer and a photographer.

“This magazine was a good challenge for us because we each had to work with someone else in a different major,” says Katie Koch, fourth-year advertising photography major and the magazine’s co-art director. “It also exposed us to deadlines which we will soon face in the real world.”

Peppered throughout the magazine are articles covering a wide range of dark and whimsical topics from nightmares to monsters to dream jobs to daydreams. In an excerpt from her article, “Beware, Those Dangerous Delusions,” Allison Johnston, a fourth-year graphic design student writes: “Where would brilliant ideas come from if we never allowed them to sprout in the warm sunlight of our daydreams? Daydreaming is both soothing and inspiring, letting us distress while filling our brains with unexpected solutions to life’s little problems.”

More than half of the students, including staff members, submitted articles. “The feature editors mainly chose the articles,” says Defibaugh. “The copy editors were responsible for correcting typos and grammatical errors and oversaw the overall quality of the text. The production team had the most critical job of putting everything together to ensure the layout was configured properly.”

Lindsay Tendler, fourth-year advertising photography major and one of Drem’s production editors says: “Towards the end, it became really intense with the production team working long hours to get the magazine ready for print. It was a great experience and made me realize I may want to pursue magazine production as a career.”

Michael Riordan, professor in the School of Print Media, and some of his fourth-year new media publishing students also helped with production. RIT’s Printing Applications Laboratory printed the magazine.

“While all the students are visual communicators, they have different personalities and talents from various disciplines. It was great to see all the talents come together in this magazine,” says Frear.

Kelly Downs

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