Q + A
the voice of william logan
This month, we got to know Modern In Denver’s Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director William Logan. William has a long-standing history in the publishing and design world and acts as a voice for the design community of Colorado. He’s currently busy working on their signature “Design in Bloom” event, which will be the 8th year of what has become one of the most anticipated design events of the year, and the upcoming spring issue. Despite his lengthy to-do list, he invited us into his 1963 mid-mod abode to talk all things design, community and insight into his life as a modern-day publisher.
What’s your background story?
I grew up in Colorado, went to CU Boulder to study art and philosophy, and moved to Denver after I graduated. I started my career working as a graphic designer for a variety of clients, including a company that built and ran nightclubs and restaurants. I learned a great deal and was able to expand the scope of my work to include all of their creative, including concept, branding, interior design and graphic design. After more than a decade in that position, I accepted a position as the creative director for a regional advertising agency. While at the agency, I started Modern In Denver, and have been publishing now for 12 years.
Where is your passion for design derived from?
My grandfather was a talented artist and exposed me to the power of imagination and creativity at a very early age. Art and design have continued to influence my life and provide a source of meaning and joy for me every day.
Describe the moment you decided to start Modern in Denver.
Having lived in Denver since I graduated from college, I was able to recognize fairly early a cultural and creative shift in the city in the early 2000s. I started noticing that more infill architecture was modern, there was an elevated interest in mid-century modern design, more art galleries were featuring challenging work, yet I didn’t see any of it being covered in the local or regional media. I thought there was room for a publication to cover all of these new projects and people who were behind them. In 2008, I felt the time was right to start telling these stories.
What’s your antidote for creative burnout?
I am infinitely curious, which has allowed me to avoid creative burnout. Traveling, studying, exploring and spending time with friends and family keeps me engaged and fills my tank.
Where do you spend the quiet moments in between meetings, editing, writing, art directing, publishing, event coordinating, etc.?
In my studio working on my drawing and painting or spending time with my wife and five-year-old daughter.
What’s inspiring you in the community right now?
It has been exciting to see the quality and scope of so many projects (homes, buildings, restaurants, hotels, interiors, products, graphic design, etc.) continue to get better and better every year. And to see the community enthusiastically embrace them has been inspiring to me. It has encouraged developers, architects, artists and designers to take more chances and keep pushing things forward. I love that. It also makes it a bit easier to endure the continuing challenges that thoughtless design continues to present to our city and state.
Describe an instance where you “failed forward” when it comes to running MID.
Failing forward is pretty much part of the DNA of Modern In Denver. With each issue, we make mistakes and try to learn from them. One funny example occurred in an early issue where we were running a story on some public art. We proofed the story and ran spell check, but the headline ended up being “Pubic Art!” It was an embarrassing lesson that taught me that spell check is not fail-proof. We made it to the next issue.
How do you define your home’s style in three words?
Simple, warm, modern
What do you love most about your home?
Our home has a great flow to the space and features tons of huge windows that look out onto a view of the mountains. The house was built in 1963 and features some incredible millwork that covers almost all of the walls. The home has very little drywall. The millwork is beautiful and is one of the unique features of the home.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Paint, travel, work on new projects and spend time with my family and friends.
I love so many fonts, but since I have used it in the magazine since the beginning, I should probably say DIN. I love how clean and simple yet elegant at the same time.
I particularly love the “R” and “M.”
What’s something you always have within arms reach?
Pen, paper, phone and my air pods.
Reading: Slowness by Milan Kundera, Chalk, The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly by Joshua Rivkin, Range by David Epstein
Listening: Led Zeppelin (III), Howard Tate (The Bitter End), King Princess (Cheap Queen), Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here), and Radiohead (In Rainbows)
Watching: Ozark, The Great British Baking Show, Atypical, The Irishman
Finish this quote: In modern design, …
it is important to point to the future, be bold, brave and full of empathy while maintaining a strong understanding and appreciation of the creativity from the past. It is also important to have a sense of fun and not take yourself too seriously.