Vector Spring 2018

Jan-May 2019 · Layout Editor


The cover of the Fiction or Future issue of Vector is one of my favorite works I did with the magazine. It was an opportunity to capture the essence of the future and do so collaboratively. I was the sole designer on the cover, and used photographs supplied by Vector staff for the collage.


When I first pitched the idea for the cover of the Future or Fiction issue of Vector, I had put a working title on it that said “Vector: The futures that could happen.” We hadn’t come up with the Future or Fiction subtitle at that point, and I think the “futures that could happen” idea perfectly summed up what we as a staff were trying to depict with the magazine. The topics we were covering in the magazine were all potential technologies of the somewhat far off future, so they were being built as we were writing about them.
Final cover, printed at 8.5" x 11"


Doing a photo collage for the cover was an exciting excuse for me to collaborate more with the Vector staff. Working with a staff of fun, creative, and articulate people was a blast and I wanted to do more. So right before Spring Break, I sent a request to the photo staff asking for pictures of cool structures that they saw over their vacation, and I got back a huge variety of pictures.

At this point, I realized there was a huge potential for visual metaphors that I could build into in the cover. All the different photos made me realize that I could take the variety of subjects shot by the photographers and work it into a vision of the future as a way to say the future is a collaboration of different ideas.

I had also been exposed to the work of the architectural studios Superstudio and Archizoom at the time, and these were professionals dedicated to showing the future. So I took inspiration from them and drew the outlines of buildings into the scene as stand-ins for technology that does not exist yet.

I also styled the floor after the Superstudio aesthetic as a sort of easter egg for people familiar with the studio. Also I thought it was a cool aesthetic and it was a fun graphic to make. While I was doing all of this, I wanted the university to be in the middle of it all since “What Starts Here Changes the World” is the motto of UT Austin, so I made all the buildings sprout out of the main tower so that we were in the middle of it all.
Inspiration images from sources like Superstudio and Archizoom
Where each image in the original cover came from; all images taken by Vector Staff


The cover was a huge hit when we got the printed release. People would look at it and talk to their friends about what the coolest building was, or what they think each one was. It has a level of detail that let viewers pick it apart. It also communicated the essence of what the Vector staff thought the future would be. The future was developing, with the University of Texas being a big part of it; it was collaborative; and there was a huge potential in the future.

Full Magazine

You can read the full magazine or download the PDF over on the Vector website. (External Link)