Shira Inbar on pushing the boundaries of editorial design

Ahead of her talk at MagCulture Live New York, we speak to the designer about her work on innovative magazine concepts for the likes of A24 and Mschf and how her multidisciplinary practice has evolved over the years

Like many classically trained graphic designers before her, when Shira Inbar was starting out she had her sights set on a career in print. While she dreamed of eventually ending up as a book designer, it didn’t take long for her to broaden her horizons after joining the MFA graphic design programme at Yale. As course director Sheila Levrant de Bretteville continually pushed her to experiment with disciplines and techniques that she was less familiar with, she quickly discovered the joys of motion design.

“I think that with moving image you can control it to an extent, but then when it starts moving something that you didn’t expect happens. That’s very different to the classical design approach where you’re controlling every detail,” Inbar tells CR. “I think experiencing that made me fall in love with that type of magic and then apply that embrace of serendipity. Not to try and control every tiny little detail, but rather work with a bunch of ideas, put them together as best you can, and then be open to something new that might happen from that weird combination.”

Today, Inbar’s multidisciplinary practice sees her work at the intersection of editorial design, motion graphics, imagemaking and illustration, while her clients span the fields of entertainment, news, technology, pop culture and media at large, including the New York Times, Nike and the Atlantic. “A lot of what I do feels a little bit unrelated – how does motion graphics connect to illustration connect to magazines?” she reflects. “They’re different techniques and different disciplines but if you look at the type of thinking that goes into making these things, I think that they all stem from the same editorial way of looking at things.”

Top: Mschf Mag; Above: The Atlantic metaverse issue