Look! Up in the sky!

By Brian Shea
JHUP Journals PR and Advertising Coordinator

I don’t feel very special sitting in my cubicle at work. I enjoy my work and feel like I do things to help our journals and affiliated societies promote the work that they do, but think I rank among the many ordinary people playing a small role in something bigger.

Sometimes we all need a reminder that even our ordinary efforts serve an extraordinary purpose. That’s the mindset that drove the creation of the 2016 JHU Press Scholarly Journals catalog.

The superhero theme shown on the cover and carried throughout the catalog evolved out of a brainstorming session the Journals Marketing Department had at a local café. That led to more brainstorming which generated a concept executed by local artist Monica Gallagher (who also shared the work on her blog) in conjunction with Keli Strickland, the graphic designer in the Journals Division.


Artist Monica Gallagher (left) and JHUP Journals Graphic Designer Keli Strickland show off the new JHUP Journals catalog

The rest of our department—me, marketing manager Lisa Klose, senior coordinator for direct mail & renewals Janet Gilbert, and advertising and exhibits coordinator Lauren Anderson—worked from the shadows, providing feedback as the final piece came together. We’re thrilled with the result.

Those of us who work closely with the people who produce and share the scholarly research from our journals already know that those folks do superhuman work. We’re happy we are able to articulate a story which we can share with the world.

We know the authors bring their gift of new knowledge with their writing, which is guided by editors who have the special vision to find the right scholarship for their journal. The expertise of the reviewers gives the writing superhuman strength, providing the Press with the seal of approval it needs to publish the highest-quality available. From there, professional associations provide light-speed communications to promote the work through their network of scholars and librarians use their extra-sensory understanding of research methods to deliver the finished product to readers, who come to the rescue with their interest in expanding their knowledge.

And all of this starts from very humble beginnings, in cubicles like mine. We just do a good job of hiding our capes most of the time.