Editorial Design

The Power of Print

We like how it smells. How it feels in our hands. Its long history of scrolls, plates, and illuminated manuscripts.

Print isn’t for everyone, and not everyone knows how to design for it. Plazm began creating editorial design for magazines, books, posters, flyers, catalogues, record covers, and packaging materials in 1991, and we haven’t let up since.

We’ve won awards for it. Lost money over it. Devoted thousands of hours to its rigorous demands: layout, typography, font development, researching which inks are best for the environment, arguing over smart quotes and Oxford commas.

We’ve written, edited, and designed books for book publishers. As publishers ourselves, we’ve commissioned enough work to fill over 30 issues of Plazm magazine.

Yes, we like print, and we like words. As a bonus, we find that the principles of analog editorial design carry over to digital content, motion, and immersive experience, enriching the work’s visual and narrative depth.

Soul of the Game

Pictured above and below Soul of the Game, Images and Voices of Street Basketball. Designed by Plazm’s Joshua Berger in collaboration with John C Jay, Soul of the Game won Gold Medal at Leipzig Bookfair, was an AIGA 50 books 50 covers book, and was named one of “the 14 most beautiful books” by the Copenhagen Museum.


David Reed: Lives of Paintings

Catalogue for exhibition at the Cooley Gallery, Reed College.

There was a litho edition of 5,000, slip case, foil stamp, catalog with inserts and an artist edition of 100 with a cloth bound slip case, foil stamp, and silkscreen by the artist.

Liza Ryan: Spill

Catalogue for exhibition at the Cooley Gallery, Reed College.

A wraparound pull-out poster was designed to accommodate the very long central work from the exhibit, this accordion fold poster was inserted along with a saddle-stitched catalog into a die-cut slipcase.

Art is PNCA

We developed a magazine as part of our recruitment marketing efforts for the Pacific Northwest College of Art. The editorial approach included multiple aspects of content development and design from interviewing faculty, students, and alumni to writing about the cultural landscape of Portland, Oregon.

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plazm pnca bfa recruitment catalog detail
plazm pnca bfa recruitment catalog detail 2

Red Bull Shorts

A series of book covers for Red Bull Theater publishing the results of their long-running short play festival. Cut paper and handwriting building on our Red Bull Theater branding.

This way to Nike Beautiful

Cloth bound book design delivered to media in Asia as part of a product launch for Nike Women.

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Nike Beautiful media launch

ESPN Ultimate Highlight Reel

365 indelible moments of greatness, surprise, and craziness are featured in this immediate, provocative book. Judicious use of bold type and color along with consistent treatment of images allow this book to flow with immediacy and balance.

f30: 30 Essential Typefaces

Following interviews with design professors, thirty essential typefaces were selected to be featured in this educational and inspirational book. Plazm curated, wrote, edited, and designed this book.

Nike Zoom

Pattern design is all about speed with colors associated with new Nike Zoom footwear launches. Open binding technique with exposed spine allows pages to open completely.

Born from obsession

This Nike book is about detail. Every detail. Each shoe is dissected into its component parts which were individually photographed. Every shoe in the line is treated with a gatefold spread showing the components and the complete assembled shoe. The book is wrapped in a vellum overwrap and enclosed in a screen printed aluminum tin.

XXX: The Power of Sex in Contemporary Design

“Sex sells,” the cliché goes. But there’s much more to graphic design and sexuality. XXX explores visual communication systems with intelligent essays and  lavish production. Gender issues, humor, romance, and the sex act itself—each subject is discussed by Plazm’s Sarah Dougher and fleshed out with images
from leading designers.

Written, designed, and curated by Plazm, the book features a silkscreened rubber cover and has been translated into multiple languages. It inspired exhibitions in New York and Oregon.

Steven Heller wrote the introduction to the exhibits. Dan Savage wrote the foreword to the book.

Plazm magazine

How it all started. Back in 1991 a group of artists, writers, and designers founded a printed laboratory. We experimented with form, process and content. Old and new articles are in our online magazine. Some physical copies can still be purchased in our shop.

Plazm magazine