(from the desk of :01 Editorial Director Mark Siegel)
If one thing is reliable, it’s that things change.
As many of you know, Colleen AF Venable is leaving First Second, to be an Associate Art Director at Workman Publishing. It was just one of those offers she couldn’t refuse.
Here’s how Colleen started with First Second: some years ago, I was interviewing candidates for our design position, but none seemed quite right. Then one morning I opened an email and found a Shelf Awareness ad for approval, and it looked and felt just like what First Second needed to become. I called our marketing/publicity manager Gina Gagliano and asked, “Who’s the person that designed this ad? This is exactly who we need.” Gina answered, “She’s sitting at the cubicle just outside your door.” At that point, Colleen was working in marketing for Roaring Brook.
She also happened to be taking night classes to learn typography and dreamed of being a designer.
A number of years later, Colleen has helped make First Second what it is today. If it shines in any way, it owes it in part to her extraordinary creative sensibility and many talents. Have a look at the image at the head of the blog—that’s only some of her covers. Many awards and bestsellers later, it’s amazing to look at the range of sensibilities and flavors showcased in a single person’s work.
The good news is this isn’t actually only a farewell note. Colleen’s arts include her exquisite writing, and she is most definitely part of the First Second family in the future . . . as an author. Look in coming seasons for her Kiss Number Eight, a stellar teen project like nothing we’ve ever done before.
So I’m a little sad, but happy in other ways, and I don’t know how to say it properly other than simply THANK YOU COLLEEN. Your gift to First Second is huge.
And warm wishes for your next design adventures!