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Quantum Whatever

2010 September 20

So, I’ve been working on some stuff recently, and then since yesterday I’ve been running on low-wattage. Apparently I’ve caught something; hopefully it runs its course soon. But I hate to let an entire week roll by, even if I was on something of a hot streak the week before.

Fortunately there’s always archive material to fall back on. Today, the cover design from Quantum Whatever, Vol. II Issue 1:

Front cover of Quantum Whatever 2.1

Awesome late-1990s college-Junior-level Photoshop magic

Quantum Whatever was, for a while, a “creative journal” of, by and for Honors Program students at dear auld (still-a-lost-cause-at-football) ISU. (Yes, I was one of those kids. It was a blast, too, although I definitely have not found myself fast-tracked into any new-rich superclass as a result; this was a public university in Iowa, remember.)

I don’t think QW has lasted; a web search doesn’t turn up anything. But it was a good run for a little while. I designed and laid out three issues, indulging in some fun design experimentation for which there wasn’t always a place in classwork. I also got a good bit of practical experience with managing a publication, and dealing with production realities; I learned how to take advantage of duotones, for example, making the most of our “lavish” budget with two-color covers. (Good old Nite Owl printing is still around, at least.)

Quantum Whatever is an interesting artifact from a variety of perspectives. It falls into an odd little space between the tail end of the ‘zine phenomenon, and the early days of the explosion of DIY creativity online with blogs. I should go flip through my issue archive one of these days.

In any event, I’m still rather pleased with what I came up with on QW, looking back from the perspective of a dozen years. After the first issue, I turned it into my Honors Project, and actively sought out criticism and suggestions from other students, faculty and some professionals I was acquainted with, and learned a lot from synthesizing their responses and hammering my initial efforts into something better. No doubt I’ll revisit Quantum Whatever on this blog again, occasionally.

Back cover of Quantum Whatever 2.1

This is a real quote from a real Career Services Director; in fact I've replaced the name published on the original cover because we really mocked the poor woman enough, I think.

(And yes, I did in fact graduate with a 3.81—for what little that has proved to be worth in the real world—and as you see here I really did have my ‘Quantum Whatever.’)

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