Writing for Communication Arts
Communication Arts is actively seeking:
Creative industry thought leaders who can contribute well-written opinion columns or reported pieces that cover emerging trends, ethical issues and what it takes to thrive in the fields of typography, photography, illustration, advertising and design for print, digital and interactive media.
We want to improve the way our readers work and think, whether that means introducing a revolutionary technique with dozens of potential applications, challenging disparate disciplines to work together in new ways, or refuting common wisdom about, say, what it means to be creative or successful. If your article can do that, we want to see it.
Your article should do one or more of these:
Thoughtfully discuss ethical and social issues in the creative industry. Offer a fresh perspective on gender equality, racial diversity, client/co-worker relationships or business practices that sustain and/or undermine the profession (unpaid internships, environmental concerns, professional memberships and certification, pro-bono work, and crowdsourcing, for example).
Round up newsworthy items on particular subject. Present, for example, online learning options, outlets for selling your illustration and photography online, web designers to watch or brands getting social media right.
Report on an emerging trend or tool (industry-wide or specific to a locale). Investigate, for example, what we love/hate about flat design, type design in Mexico, or the addition of business/entrepreneurship programs within art and design schools.
Provide helpful guidance. Explain, for example, how to constructively criticize your co-workers, how to build your own brand or strategies for presenting your work to clients. Also welcome are not-too-technical how-tos, such as how to evaluate a quality font, create a compelling infographic or sell your concept with a storyboard like Pixar pro.
Reveal a backstory professionals can learn from—an inside look at the ideas or processes behind successful firms and projects. Craft a mini-profile of a creative individual or an agency that works in a unique way (see examples in type designer Peter Bil'ak and Grip Design) present a case study on how/why a project was a success (for example, the redesign of Texas Monthly magazine), or what it takes to succeed in a specific creative career (see articles on photo stylists and hand-lettering experts for examples).
Push us to the edges. Reveal unusual creative trends that inspire and expand our definition of commercial work: sign painters, app creators, experiential designers, paper artists, display or retail designers, multidisciplinary artists, animators, etc.
Your article should also:
• Offer a clear argument, not just a list of tips and tricks.
• Have a voice. We want pieces that are bold, interesting and human.
Keep our core readership of professionals in multiple creative disciplines in mind. If your piece focuses on one discipline—say, type design or photography—consider what people from other fields can learn from it, and how you might appeal to those readers.
• Typically be around 800 to 1,500 words (though longer or shorter isnt out of the question).
• Be checked for the accuracy of facts, figures, quotes and names, with citations if needed.
We do not publish:
• Product pitches or press releases.
• Profiles of fine artists and individuals or firms without an established track record.
• Follow-ups to to articles weve published, unless they add significant new value.
• Any story that has been published elsewhere, including your blog.
Why write for us?
Youll love writing for us because we care… a lot. We want your story to be the best it can be, so youll get extensive feedback and editorial support from our knowledgeable and passionate staff.
Writing for Communication Arts has helped authors land speaking and teaching engagements, and even—if youve got the stuff—book deals. Thousands of colleagues will see your work published in print and online in a respected forum.
Communication Arts pays all writers a highly competitve rate or flat fee, which is negotiated upon assignment.
Submitting an article:
Please e-mail us two-three published writing clips along with a pitch that tells us:
What category or discipline might this fall under? Creativity/Business/Emerging Media/Design Details/Design Culture/Environment/Voices (opinion)/Education/Typography/Interactive/Illustration/Photography/Design/Advertising are our typical column headings, but we are also open to new categories.
What format will the story be in? Text only (short-form 700 words or long-form 1000-1500 words), text with images (specify/estimate how many images and, if possible, how large theyll need to be), photo essay with captions, infographic, etc.
What is it and why do CA subscribers need to know about it? This should take just a few sentences. It should be easy to explain why its relevant, inspirational or entertaining, even if the subject/concept is complicated. If you cant explain it in 2-4 sentences, it likely wont work as a column.
The voice of authority: Why you? What is your professional experience in the creative industry? Does your perspective match that of our audience? Or are you an expert on the subject? Give us the three-sentence bio that would appear on our Contributors page.
Time peg: Why now? We have exceptionally long lead times so time-sensitive stories (the debut of new technology, back-to-school guides or holiday-related articles) must to be pitched six months in advance.