CASE STUDY: PASTE
In 2002, Metaleap had just been born and the founders of Paste needed an art director for their brand-new publication. It was a match made in Decatur, Georgia. We began by designing a logo and masthead for what was, at the time, a niche indie music market. But Paste’s audience quickly took off. As the magazine gained recognition nationwide as cultural curators, our relationship with them expanded. Over the next eight years, we shepherded the brand through every touchpoint—and the touchpoints grew exponentially.
While meeting weekly to discuss everything from art budgets to editorial calendars for the print publication, we simultaneously designed Paste’s merchandise, their presence at music festivals, advertisements, CDs, DVDs, and many subbrands. In the end, our work included identity development for their branded music festival (Paste Rock ‘n Reel), a presence on CNN (Paste Picks), American Airlines’ radio channel (Paste Beat), as well as many, many, many other initiatives. Along the way, we began a commitment to working with the best illustrators and photographers possible.
In our early days working with Paste, we were challenged to push the design as far as possible. We sought to establish a distinct look, and we were not constrained by the usual rules.
After 65 issues, Paste ceased monthly printing, but our work for them continues to be referenced widely in design circles. We are thankful for the creative freedom we were given to explore publication design at a national level and the confidence it gave us to push against the norm in order to achieve something great.