Chelsea & The City: 8 month update

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I cannot fathom the fact that I have worked on 29 issues at TIME. After eight months of being here, sometimes I still feel a little nervous and still awe at the huge TIME plaque on the wall when I walk in. I feel like that will never stop.  I have learned so much, worked with the most incredible people and have grown as a designer and a person. I wanted to show a few favorite pieces of my work and share a few things I have learned from the past few months. I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts.

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Typography

Working on this piece was a great learning experience. It was the first official feature I got to work on. The photo illustration was by Alexander Crispin and art directed by Photo Editor Myles Little. I loved being able to play with the typography and create a balance of color and sizing to have a bold dynamic. This story taught me to never underestimate the power of type and all the ways it can be used, especially as a design element. One of my favorite quotes about typography is “Words have meaning, but type has spirit.” How true is that?

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Final touches

Let’s be real for a second. I’m a 22 year-old girl who loves England and royalty. Yes, I am one of those girls who is overly obsessed with Kate and how perfect she seems. So obviously when I was asked if I wanted to design this feature I couldn’t be more thrilled. The whole world had been (and still is) talking about Kate, the royal baby and the pregnancy. But I hadn’t seen any photo that told the story as unique as this. The ring gives away who it is at first glance and then you notice the little baby bump. A very royal one at that. There was a beautiful graphic inside the story that TIME graphic guru Heather Jones created about the inner workings of the royal family. She had a few very simple and petite illustrations throughout her graphic and at the last minute I decided to see what a little crown might look like above the type. It was that last little piece that I felt brought all of the elements together and really gave it a royal touch.

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Art direction

I wrote a blog not too long ago about my first real encounter with art direction. Since working on that piece, I have worked on a few others I have really loved. This story was a tough one to illustrate. It is about the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. I decided to take a timeline approach with a more newsy edge – showing who went there, what inventions were created there and why we should care. I worked with the brilliant Sean McCabe on this piece and it turned out beautiful. Most of these photos were black and white to begin with and brought my vision of this spread into a very colorful world. I wanted it to have a very retro feel – we kept referring to the Sergeant Pepper album cover for inspiration. It was a fun piece to work on and it made me realize more and more how much I love art directing.

I am learning new things everyday and I would love to hear feedback on my work! Please let me know what you think.

Have a great week!

—Chelsea

(Chelsea Kardokus is a freelance designer for TIME magazine in New York City. See more of her work here.)