When our beloved Ruminate Magazine was birthed more than six years ago, my challenge as designer was presented in just three words: black and white. Yes, an entire publication, meant to grab, dazzle, and inspire—designed in only black and white. (Okay, okay, and a color cover).
This potentially constricting design direction may have seemed frustrating upon first glance. But my mind was alive with possibility: How can I push this? In what ways will the absence of color allow complexity to melt away? How is color generally used as a crutch, and how will I overcome this? How can I create visual vibrancy to counterbalance the simplicity of a black and white “color” scheme? And most critical of all: Will I truly be able to pull this off in a way that upholds the high-quality content in this gem of a project?
These six-year-old questions are far from answered. In fact, they have expanded, grown, been altered, and deepened through each issue of Ruminate that we’ve all journeyed together.
In hindsight, I view this initial challenge as a starting point of sorts... a mark in the sand, a place to begin the exploration of restriction as liberation. The comfort of this limitation allowed me to begin – without the looming pressure that every option was available for the choosing, inviting me away from a strong focus.
On a personal note, I have felt a growing attraction toward simplicity, efficiency, and limited choice building under the surface for quite some time. This pull has become so strong that it began to shape my lifestyle in some unexpected ways:
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Yes, I had witnessed the tears falling every night. I felt the energy whoosh through the room like a cyclone. I couldn’t believe anyone could walk away from that show and not be transformed. And I know that Diane also felt and understood the transformative power of theater.