A big move for me

This summer, I am moving to Hong Kong. And I’m changing, after 25 years from consulting to working for one specific, expanding publication group: Edipresse Asia. With publications in China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Edipresse Asia has a small and talented team led by Barrie Goodridge, CEO and Sean Fitzpatrick, group editorial director.

Since print is still robust in this booming part of the world, they are getting a chance to get the digital transformation right. And, I’ll get a chance to do what I’ve always loved doing, design magazines.

I’ll tell you more about it as I make the move. Meanwhile, following is the release sent out today.

Iconic Designer Roger Black Joins Edipresse Asia

HONG KONG—One of the best known publication designers in the past 40 years is moving to Hong Kong to head design in Asia for Edipresse, the international publisher. Roger Black, who has designed and redesigned magazines and newspapers around the world, will become Group Creative Director this summer, according to Barrie C. Goodridge, CEO of Edipresse Asia.

“Bringing in a designer at Roger’s level indicates our commitment to great design and surpassing quality in our publications, both in print and online,” said Goodridge.  “The industry is rapidly changing, and we reached out to a designer who is famous for adapting quickly to change, and often anticipating it,” he said.

Black is an early adapter of publishing technology. He led efforts in digital typography, desktop publishing, and then the web and tablets.

Although he has worked as consultant for groups such as Hearst Magazines (where he redesigned Esquire—twice), Black is returning to the inside of a publishing company for the first time since he left Newsweek in 1987.

“The opportunity with Edipresse just became too compelling to turn down,” Black said. “The group has made a beachhead at the high end of the most exciting market in the world. This is a big challenge, to develop the best magazines on all platforms in China and throughout Southeast Asia. But if anyone can do it, it is the team that Edipresse has assembled,” said Black.

Last year Black worked on the design strategy of Today in Singapore, which rebuilt its daily newspaper, web site and iPad app. Previously he led design teams at The Straits Times (Singapore), The Nation (Bangkok) and Kompas (Jakarta).

“Roger’s talent is creating true engagement with the audience of any platform,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, Group Editor-in-Chief. “This works for the brand, for the advertisers, and for our ultimate customers, the readers,” he said.

Black made his reputation at magazines such as Rolling Stone, where he was art director in the 1970s, and newspapers such as The New York Times, in the 1980s. In the ’90s he took to the web with sites like MSNBC.com and @Home.  In recent years, he has produced redesigns both for print and digital editions of the Washington Post and Scientific American. Black led the launch of The Sporting News, an hybrid iPad app built on Treesaver, a HTML5 publication platform he helped create.

He started his own publication design firm and co-founded the Font Bureau in the late ’80s. As well as Treesaver, he helped start three companies providing media design products: Webtype, Ready-Media and Savory.  He is the author of two books on design, Desktop Design Power, and Web Sites That Work, and he writes an occasional blog on his own site.