Class: 2013, graphic design
Then: 2011-12 design apprentice, Kitchen and Bath Ideas
Now: associate art director, Time Inc.
Since high school, Allie Adams dreamed of working in magazines. While studying graphic design at Iowa State, she narrowed that ambition to publications with an emphasis on homes. Soon afterward, she decided New York was where she wanted to end up.
Now an associate art director for Time Inc. in New York City, she has worked hard to achieve each of her goals.
Adams’ career really began during her junior year of college when she was selected as a Meredith apprentice for the 2011-2012 school year. Originally from Des Moines and familiar with the company, she knew the Meredith Apprentice Program would be a great fit for her interests and an extraordinary opportunity.
“It’s not your average part-time college job,” Adams said.
Working as a graphic design apprentice, she created layouts for Kitchen + Bath Ideas and Real-Life Kitchen and Bath magazines, two special interest publications under the Better Homes and Gardens brand.
“For me, that’s exactly what I wanted to do,” she said. “To be able to start doing that almost two years before I graduated was a great way to get my foot in the door.”
Throughout her yearlong apprenticeship, Adams gained hands-on experience in nearly all aspects of magazine publication. She was involved in planning meetings, photo shoots, prop set-up, pin-ups and cover design discussions.
Working with the editorial, design and sales staffs, she saw the entire process of publishing a magazine. One of her favorite aspects was collaborating with different people across multiple departments to create one product, she said.
After her apprenticeship ended, Adams continued working at Meredith throughout the following summer. She then transitioned to Meredith’s Diabetic Living magazine, working there during her senior year at Iowa State and for a few months post-graduation.
However, she had always wanted to move to New York City and pursue her graphic design career there. At the end of summer 2013, she decided to try to make it happen. With a particular idea in mind for the type of job she wanted, she only applied for a few positions. Eventually, she got a call from This Old House Ventures, which was owned by Time Inc. at the time.
“They told me they loved my portfolio, which was all Meredith stuff,” she said.
After a trip to New York for an interview, Adams got the job and relocated there permanently within the next few weeks. She worked at This Old House magazine for three years, designing layouts for the print and tablet versions of the publication.
In 2016, Time Inc. sold the brand and Adams accepted a position as an associate art director in the Books department at Time. She now designs editorial layouts and covers for bookazines published under a variety of brands, including Life, Entertainment Weekly, People and Time magazines. These special issues sometimes take the form of tributes for celebrities, such Prince or David Bowie, or commemorate events, like the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.
Her current daily tasks echo the skills and experiences she gained as a Meredith apprentice years ago.
“I wouldn’t have been able to move here and get a job without doing the apprentice program and then continuing to work at Meredith,” Adams said.
By Jessica Bennett