It has never been as easy as it is now to be an up-to-date, spread-out family. I speak from experience, as my immediate family resides in three different countries, and those family members that follow are found in five different continents. Yet, it is amazing to see how easy it is to fall out of communication and not know what is going on with brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, etc. Nicole Ziegler opted to use an old trusted via of communication to fix the problem she found in her spread-out family.
My grandparents, specifically my grandfather inspired me to do this. For years when visiting family, whenever my grandparents were asked how a relative was doing or what’s going on with a cousin, etc, my grandparent’s favorite response was always “I don’t know anything honey I’m just a mushroom” (meaning they, like mushrooms, are kept in the dark about what’s going on). So last Christmas when I was home visiting, the phrase of the week whenever family news was mentioned was “put it in the mushroom Gazette”. So after returning home to Chicago from visiting family in New Jersey, I decided to bring the Mushroom Gazette to life as a way to keep all of our family informed and updated about what’s going on in everyone’s life. I sent out a postcard a while before the first issue announcing the Mushroom Gazette and asking for submissions. Family members could submit news stories, birthdays or anniversaries, upcoming events, wanted or for sale ads, pretty much anything they wanted. Once I received all the content and added my own, I assembled the newsletter, printed them and sent them out to each family member.
I produce these entirely by hand. Each issue only needs about 10 copies (so each family household gets 1 copy) I cut newsprint down to size, print the pages on my epson printer at home. Then I run each copy through a sewing machine for the binding.
I’d like for the newsletters to allow our family to be connected a little more — we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like so this hopefully is a way to keep up to date with what’s going on.
The best part, in my opinion, is the ability family members will have to consult the “archives” to check dates, remember certain events, recall photos, and all those things that have a special sentimental value in each individual.
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UnderConsideration is a graphic design enterprise that runs a network of blogs, publishes books, organizes live events and judged competitions, and designs for clients.
Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.
Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.
Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.
Speak Up (2002 – 2009) / Discussing, and looking for, what is relevant in, and the relevance of, graphic design. Archives Only.
Word It (2003 – 2010) / Encouraging creative diversity in the community through monthly, one-word challenges. Archives Only.
Brand New Classroom (2010 – 2011) / Providing a space for critique and opinions on student identity workArchives Only.
Department of Design / Designing corporate and brand identities and full development of printed and digital matter for clients.
The 2010 FPO Awards / 2011, self-published.
The 2010 Brand New Awards / 2011, self-published.
Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work / 2010, self-published.
Events & Judged Competitions
Brand New Conference / A one-day event on the development of corporate and brand identity projects by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.
Brand New Awards / Celebrating the best identity work produced around the world.
FPO Awards / Celebrating the best print work from around the world.
Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design / 2009, Rockport.
Women of Design: Influence and Inspiration from the Original Trailblazers to the New Groundbreakers / 2008, HOW Books.
The Word It Book: Speak Up Presents a Gallery of Interpreted Words / 2007, HOW Books.