Todd Weinberger is the creative director of Inked, a luxury tattoo magazine that he redesigned and re-launched in 2007. Notes on Design caught up with Todd this month to find out more about his creative journey.
Notes on Design: Can you tell us a little about your career so far?
Todd: After graduating, I moved to Boulder Colorado and spent some time as a freelance designer working for different kinds of clients: bands, snowboard companies, celestial seasonings tea, etc. I moved back to Philadelphia and worked at The Bailey Group as a designer for a few years doing mainly corporate branding and packaging design. I decided to try my hand at advertising and moved on to Gyro Worldwide (now Quaker City Mercantile) and was a Senior Art Director there for about 3.5 years working on Camel, Salem, Winston, Puma, Glenfiddich, Hendricks Gin, and a bunch of other random clients. I used to get this magazine called Philadelphia Style, and would rip apart the horrible design and brag about how I would take the Creative Director job if they ever fired the CD at the time. So one day we got a press release that she was fired, and all the other art directors called me out on it, I interviewed and took the job. I redesigned the magazine and realized how much I loved magazine design. After 6 years doing Philadelphia Style and DC Style, I moved to NYC when I was offered to job to relaunch Inked magazine. The president of Nylon magazine met me in Philadelphia and brought me to NYC to utilize my fashion and advertising background to make a beautiful high-end fashion and entertainment magazine for people with tattoos. I absolutely love it.
Notes on Design: What drove you to choose Graphic Design as a career path?
Todd: I have always been into art, and for a while I wanted to be a comic book illustrator, and even a ceramicist. In college I was drawn to my art classes but not math and science, so I researched 3 career art paths (graphic design, advertising, illustration) that had a strong job market so that I could justify spending a 5th year in college to transfer to the art school. I met with a professional in each industry and really liked graphic design. I pitched the idea to my parents and they were ok with me spending an extra year in school. I immediately fell in love with type and continued to graduate with a BFA in graphic design.
Notes on Design: What would you describe was your greatest creative break?
Todd: Working at Gyro brought me to the forefront of attention in the advertising realm and I got a lot of exposure while working there. I was on the board of the Philadelphia AIGA chapter for a few years, and all the design that I did for them brought a lot of attention to my work locally and nationally. Moving to NYC and working in the publishing industry garnered me some SPD awards for my work at Inked, which is an amazing accomplishment for our new, small magazine to achieve such recognition.
Notes on Design: How did your role at Inked Magazine arise?
Todd: I met the president of Nylon magazine through a friend, and when he bought Inked, he hired me to design and art direct the first issue by myself, while I was Creative Director at Philadelphia STYLE. The first issue was a huge success, and I immediately moved to NYC to work on it fulltime. Since then I have been basically running the magazine.
Notes on Design What was 2009 like for you, and what does 2010 hold?
Todd: 2009 was a rollercoaster ride. Trying to put 10 issues out a year with an editorial staff of 3 is brutal! But also the most fun I have ever had. I learned a lot about tattooing, and rallied an amazingly talented group of photographers, stylist and artists I support for what we’re doing. We’ve more than tripled our circulation and newsstand sell through, and it seems like everyone has heard of Inked. 2010 is going to be a bigger year for the magazine; we hope to get even bigger celebrities into INKED and I want to increase our exposure.