Throwback Thursday: GLUE

When I was in college, already several years ago, I was picked for the job as Design Editor on the winter edition of Glue Magazine. Besides internships, this was the part of j-school I most looked forward to from day one, and it turned out to be the largest endeavour of my college years. The experience was exciting, stressful, nerve-wracking, rewarding and the cause of many sleepless nights. As one of my journalism instructors once said (I'm paraphrasing): if you're not a wreck, you're not doing your job.

Winter 2009 edition


After spending weeks chasing students for their stories, photos, graphics and design ideas, the editor and I spent even more days, hours on end, putting the pieces together to create the look that we were seeking. The thread that would run through the issue was "crafty" and the centre spread was a feature I had written about an underground DIY initiative, new to Ottawa at the time.

I scoured through dozens of my favourite magazines, cutting out elements of design that jumped out at me. I can remember watching an entertainment news show and quickly sketching a graphic that I would later use as a jumping-off point to establish style details on each page. I thrived in the process and it felt great to put my creativity to use.

This year marks the 10 year anniversary of Glue Magazine. In that decade, 20 issues have been published and distributed to students all over Ottawa, each containing a wide variety of stories by budding journalists. Twenty groups of students have experienced the same flurry of stress and excitement and yet every team has had a different experience as the process evolves, story ideas change and the entire world of journalism adjusts to a new reality. Looking back at the covers, you can  see the timeliness of each issue. Ours was published at a time when the concept of DIY was just taking off, a previous edition addressed the early privacy issues of social media, and the current cover can't get anymore timely than its 10-year celebration concept photo.

Learning the process of assembling a magazine while producing an actual issue of a publication was one the most valuable experiences for me as I sought a journalism career. And now the current students have the added value of an online presence. By providing content on their website, student who write for Glue can gain a higher readership and get their bylines noticed. I have to say, I'm a little jealous!

Since Glue was such a big part of my college career, I wasn't about to miss the anniversary party. Last night I stopped by the event at Algonquin College to catch up with some familiar faces and reminisce about those days - I'm obviously still feeling nostalgic today. While chatting with former instructors, I was happy to learn that some of my hard work paid off. Although we received little feedback about our magazine when it was first released (the program was not yet diving into social media so we just had to assume that people liked it), I found out that the issue I designed was voted by the current students as one of the top four issues in Glue's history. That's an extremely satisfying pat on the back.

I look forward to checking back in the years to come to see the evolution of this little college magazine. Congratulations Algonquin J-School!

Glue covers over the years

Congratulations Algonquin College Journalism

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