Francesca Messina has had a distinguished career as an Editorial Art Director at a variety of publications, whose subjects have included business, architecture, women’s issues, travel, consumer service, inspiring stories, and the sporting life.
I am a Creative Director, consulting with media companies to develop the visual identity of magazine brands in print and digital formats. From 2008 to 2014 I was the Creative Director of the McGraw-Hill Construction Groups’ publications: Architectural Record, Engineering News-Record, GreenSource, a magazine about green architecture, and a new startup, HQ, based on the premise that good design is good business. I worked across departments to develop overall editorial design and branding in print and digital iterations. I worked on the launch of SNAP, an architectural product tabloid, in early 2009, and oversaw the design and production of ancillary publications. I created a workflow for the design and production of apps for tablets and smartphones for ENR and Architectural Record.
I worked with India’s largest media company, ABP Pvt. Ltd. to redesign India’s leading business newsweekly, BusinessWorld, which launched in 2007. I briefly left the magazine world to design books for Workman Publishing in 2007-2008, and also created a new production workflow and implemented new staffing management best practices.
I was the Creative Director of Guideposts Publications from 2002-2007, overseeing a group of four publications at this spiritual/inspirational publisher whose flagship magazine, Guideposts, has a circulation of over 2.5 million. I reshaped the workflow and built staff for all publications.
In addition to overseeing the design of Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines, I spearheaded the re-launch of a magazine for teenage girls, Sweet 16, in 2004 and the launch of a new women’s magazine called Positive Thinking 2005.
I was the Art Director at the influential feminist magazine Ms., (2000-2001), helping to reposition it as a broader-based, more mass-market title. Before Ms., I spent nine years at BusinessWeek (1991-2000), rising through the ranks to become Senior Art Director. In this role I created cover designs for this premiere business newsweekly and managed day-to-day workflow.
Prior to that, I held several titles: Associate AD at European Travel & Life, and was an Art Director at The New York Times, overseeing the OpEd; Sunday Business; Sunday Travel; Home; and Living newspaper sections. In 1987, I was hired from Sports Afield where I held the position of Associate Art Director to become the first Art Director of a startup, Ricochet, a magazine that covered art and culture in Europe and the United States.
I have done project work for numerous publications including Consumer Reports, National Geographic Traveler and CFO magazine. I co-designed the Society of Publication Designers’ 37th Annual Design Awards book.
I have taught magazine design at Parsons The New School for Design and I have been a judge for the Society of Publication Designers and ASME. My work has won awards from: The American Society of Magazine Editors (Finalist—Single Topic Issue—BusinessWeek); The Society of Publication Designers; The Society of Illustrators; The Ozzies, Communication Arts; The Art Directors Club; Society of Newspaper Designers; DESI; Print Magazine’s Regional Design Award; Art Direction Magazine’s Creativity; The Newspaper Guild’s “Page One” Award; and a HESCA Publication Design Award.
I was elected by members of The Society of Publication Designers to the role of President in 2013, a one-year term. I led this organizations’ many efforts and oversaw finances. SPD is the leading organization that serves a community of editorial art directors and photography editors in the United States. I have served on the Board of Directors of The Society of Publication Designers twice, from 2005-2007 and I currently hold the position of Board member, through 2015.
Yo, I’m a native New Yorker; but I love all things Italian, and my vintage 1987 Cannondale racing bike.