Theresa Mershon

ptw16-theresa-mershon

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, HEARST MAGAZINES DIGITAL MEDIA, NEW YORK NY

For over 15 years, Theresa Mershon has been designing web and mobile products for publishers. As Creative Director of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, she is responsible for the visual and interaction design of some of publishing’s most well-known titles, including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar. Currently she leads a team of designers building a flexible publishing platform that delivers a billion page views to over 150 million users each month. Her team’s work has received recognition from the Webbies, Adweek, Digiday and Min. Theresa holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and completed graduate studies in artist’s books and fine press printing at SUNY Purchase College.

WHERE OR HOW DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGN WORK?
Primarily my work is focused on building tools, systems and experiences that liberate and extend storytelling in digital spaces. A major inspiration is the stellar journalism and visual content produced by Hearst’s many editors, photographers, video producers, and designers.

HOW DOES WHERE YOU WERE BORN, GREW UP OR LIVE NOW AFFECT YOUR DESIGN SENSIBILITY OR STYLE?
I was born in Los Angeles, and grew up shuttling between New York and California. I attended college near New York City and then spent a few years in Amsterdam before settling in Brooklyn. Moving around a lot directly influenced my interest in publishing and editorial design: from pen pals to zines, usenet, web and apps, I have always been interested in the ways we can communicate with each other outside the limits of space and time.

FAVORITE COLOR?
Hologram

FAVORITE TYPEFACE?
Avenir Next (at the moment)

FAVORITE TV SHOW?
I do not have TV

FAVORITE BOOKS?
Beautiful Evidence, Tufte; The Laws of Simplicity, Maeda; The Elements of Typographic Style, Bringhurst

FAVORITE MOVIES?
2001, Blade Runner, Metropolis

FAVORITE MUSICIANS OR BANDS?
La Monte Young, Roedelius, Voices from the Lake

FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA?
Dump.fm, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Line … I love all social media!

FAVORITE FINE ARTISTS?
Sara Ludy, Yayoi Kusama, John Whitney

GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
Strength: Lack of Boundaries
Weakness: Overcommitted

TALENT YOU WISHED YOU POSSESSED?
A better dancer.

ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Whatever your field, make sketching and prototyping a part of your process. Ignore anyone who tells you your interests are irrelevant. If you like to procrastinate (I do!), spend your procrastination time learning and trying new things.

IF NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Doctor

A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
If you don’t enjoy creating it, no one will enjoy using it.

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