Designing woman: Mortgage Banking's longtime art director, Sarah Hollander, remembers how art direction has changed along with technology over the course of her 30-plus years with the magazine.

AuthorHall, Lesley
PositionLOOKING BACK: 1939-2016


Q: Where did you learn the skills needed to be a designer/art director?

A: My publishing career began when I was about 5, when I illustrated and wrote little books that I would staple together. So this fascination of putting images together with words started a long time ago. I graduated with a B.A. from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, where I majored in art and minored in art history and French. Then I combined three years into two at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., studying visual communications, and received a B.F.A. Magazine design, one of my favorite classes, was taught by Joseph Taney, the art director of National Geographic special publications. I remember it made such an impression on me that I knew I would love to design magazines. One of the best skills 1 honed at the Corcoran was conceptual thinking--how to be posed with a challenge and come up with a visual solution to convey complex information with one succinct image.

One of my first jobs was as assistant art director at Regardie's and New Homes Guide. That was where I learned to work really, really fast, under great pressure, and to never, ever miss a deadline. Missing deadlines is unfortunately not an option in magazine production. Regardie's was also where I learned the skill of art directing and working with illustrators. It was a fabulous and hardworking environment.

Q: What were some of your jobs before coming on board as Mortgage Banking's art director?

A: After graduating from the Corcoran, my first job was as the art director of Town & Country Realtors[R] in Fairfax, Virginia. I did all in-house advertising and design for its corporate office, new-homes division, 22 branch offices, the individual agents and the mortgage division. I also did pen-and-ink architectural renderings for builders that Town & Country represented. From there I went to work as a designer at Sparkman & Bartholomew Design Associates in Washington, D.C. There I designed Conservative Digest and a magazine for the National Restaurant Association, as well as working on all sorts of other projects.

Q: When you started art directing the magazine, what parts of the process were the most challenging that today's technology has done away with?

A: Well, that makes me laugh. I have been art directing Mortgage Banking for 31 years, so there has been a huge sea change in magazine production since then. Of course, no one in their right mind would miss the...

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