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    Art direction of illustrations in National Parks Magazine
Art Direction
Illustration: Mike Kasun 
A review copy of the new book "Wildlife Watching in America's National Parks," came across my desk, but instead of running a short review or an excerpt, we thought it might be better to create a map that reveals the best time to see key wildlife species in our national parks. 
Art direction. 
Illustrations: Walt Taylor 
We sent illustrator Walt Taylor to Mississippi fa few years back to capture the Natchez Trace in a travel piece presented entirely as a sketchbook -- and our readers loved it. So this time we sent him to the Smokies, with similar results. 
Art direction
Illustration by Matt Taylor 
Graphic Design by Jessie Despard
We received an advance copy of "The Carry Home." a touching book about author Gary Ferguson's journey spreading his wife's ashes in some of her favorite places, including Yellowstone. An LA Times reporter had accompanied the writer for portions of the journey, but rather than use those images, we asked British illustrator Matt Taylor to produce three illustrations to match the tone of the piece. He knocked it out of the park. (And in case you missed it, the rock includes the image of a woman's face--the author is poised on her chin.)  
Art direction
Illustration by Dung Hoang
Graphic design by Jessie Despard
Christine Byl wrote a killer piece about life working on a national park trail crew, and we knew that photos of people digging dirt and moving rocks wouldn't do it justice. So we asked Dung Hoang to apply his brilliant skills in layering illustrations, found images, and typography. Designer Jessie Despard added the slab font headline, and the lovely detail of a pair of gloves. 
Art direction
Illustration by Aaron McConomy/Colagene. 
One of our regional staff members told us there was an amazing program called HistoriCorps that teaches volunteers how to restore historic buildings, giving the volunteers new skills, and providing cut-rate labor for the Park Service, which is suffering from severe funding deficits. We asked Aaron McConomy to tackle the illustration, and we were thriled with the simple textures and layered graphics he brought to the piece. 
After NPCA was able to succesfully advocate for a dozen new or expanded national parks, we needed a way to illustrate each of them for our magazine article, so we reached out to Matt Brass and asked him to craft icons for each of them. I provided very basic instruction, source material, and did a little art direction, but he pretty much knocked it out of the park.