Helped design several issues of U of T Magazine, and contributed to a few others.

U of T Magazine is the official magazine for the University of Toronto. This quarterly publication is mailed out to more than 300,000 alumni and friends of the university. The magazine is also available on campus to students, faculty and staff.

The Office of Gilbert Li was the studio of record for the magazine between Winter 2013–Spring 2018.

Autumn 2017

Beginnings: The promise — and occasional pitfalls — of starting something new. A Syrian student gets caught in the U.S. travel ban, a scientist straddles the worlds of faith and physics, a doctor asks for greater openness about medical mistakes, and more.

Illustrated by Matt Murphy

Illustrated by Matt Murphy

As the Principal Designer in charge of this issue I was responsible for ideation, commissioning and art direction, as well as the design and typesetting of the entire magazine. This included conceptualization of the cover and main feature opener with the editor, creating a cohesive feature package, and coordinating photography and illustration for various departments.

The main focus of the issue was an extensive 30-page feature package, showcasing U of T as a place of exciting new endeavours for faculty and students alike. We worked with illustrator Matt Murphy to create a bright illustration of the main university gates, in his iconic minimal style. The cornerstone articles of the package were editorial portraits of outstanding individuals at U of T. We wanted to pair these stories with portraits that felt intimate, yet approachable. For that reason we engaged photographer Ian Patterson to shoot eight individual portraits across two campuses. For the remaining opinion pieces, we commissioned strong conceptual illustrations.

However, the most ambitious undertaking was comissioning a three page comic strip, with support from both our editor Scott Anderson, and the author of the article, professor Barth Netterfield. The comic strip about faith and physics inspired a lot of feedback from readers. So we engaged illustrator Jonathan Dyck for a followup assignment, asking him to illustrating some of the responses for the Letters section in the next issue.

Credits

  • Editor and manager: Scott Anderson
  • Deputy editor: Stacey Gibson
  • Editorial assistant: Sally Choi
  • Studio of record: The Office of Gilbert Li
  • Creative direction: Gilbert Li

Contributors

Autumn 2016

One of the stories I had the opportunity to design in this issue, was the cover feature The Hidden Epidemic — an article discussing the devastating links between child abuse and physical health later in life. We worked with skilled conceptual illustrator Gracia Lam to help us bring this sensitive topic to life.

Gracia’s illustrations for the cover and opening spread were nominated for a National Magazine Award, and won a CASE award.

Credits

  • Editor and manager: Scott Anderson
  • Deputy editor: Stacey Gibson
  • Editorial assistant: Sally Choi
  • Studio of record: The Office of Gilbert Li
  • Creative direction: Gilbert Li

Contributors

Winter 2018

Scrapping everything and taking a fresh approach can be exhilarating. But what happens when change is not a choice? In this issue we look at “Plan B,” the power of reinvention, and how knowledge and education can help us achieve our dreams — or chase new ones.

Similarly to the Autum 2017 issue, the main focus of this issue was a large feature packaged filled with very personal stories of personal and professional reinvention from faculty and alumni. Some of my favourite elements from this issue are the cutout paper dolls concept Gilbert and I came up with for the cover and package opening spread, and the bold conceptual illustrations we commissioned inside.

Credits

  • Editor and manager: Scott Anderson
  • Deputy editor: Stacey Gibson
  • Editorial assistant: Sally Choi
  • Studio of record: The Office of Gilbert Li
  • Creative direction: Gilbert Li

Contributors
Cover / Opener illustration:
Remie Geoffroi
Illustration: Sébastien Thibault

Illustrations by Alëna Skarina

Illustrations by Alëna Skarina

Highlights

Some of my favourite moments as an Art Director on the magazine included included a follow-up assignment where we asked Alëna Skarina (above) to animate her spot illustrations (those 56k modem noises crack me up), and art directing a candy photshoot with photographer Vicky Lam (below). What a (sugar) rush!

Photo and prop styling by Vicky Lam

Photo and prop styling by Vicky Lam

Departmental Art Direction

Sometimes you get to be the backup dancer, but that’s OK. In my role as Supporting Designer on various issues of the magazine, I had the opportunity to both pitch and commission spot illustrations to liven up the very dense pages of various departments. The range of topics covered spanned across literature, psychology, business, science, and tech.

Credits
The work we produced wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing U of T Magazine editorial team (Editor and Manager: Scott Anderson, Deputy Editor: Stacey Gibson, Editorial Assistant: Sally Choi). Studio of record: The Office of Gilbert Li.