• Hero3

    Rookie Yearbook 1

Publication

Behold, the Rookie Yearbook! We interview some of the brains behind this sqeal-worthy publication

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Oh wow, oh wow, oh W-O-W! The moment the Rookie Yearbook came through the door of It’s Nice That it created an absolute squeal-fest. For any of you out there who haven’t heard of Rookie, please read the interview with some of its creators, then go to the website and gorge (gorge!) on some of the most interesting, intelligent, hilarious articles and features written by girls about being a girl.

Edited by Tavi Gevinson, the mastermind creator of Rookie and heroine to girls all over the world, the Yearbook is a compendium of the best bits of the website and an absolute treasure trove of honest, information that will either make you feel proud to be a girl, or make you understand female vibes way better than you do at the moment.

We spoke to Anaheed Alani and Sonja Ahlers who worked on the content and the design about the making of Rookie Yearbook 1…

For those who haven’t yet heard of Rookie, what is it?

AA: It’s a website for teenage girls that takes girls seriously. It’s also funnier and smarter than most media made for teenagers, probably because our editor-in-chief and about half our staff are teenage girls themselves.

The book is a collection of content from the website from the last year, why did you feel it was important to publish the online content in book form?

AA: Tavi has always been very enamoured with print (as have Sonja and I, as we’re old and grew up with it), but we knew that Rookie would have to be on the internet, to make it accessible to a lot more people and to  allow for a back-and-forth with readers through the comments. This way, we get the best of both worlds — a web magazine with a yearly print edition. It’s very gratifying to see our photographers’ and illustrators’ gorgeous work on paper, and to hold a heavy object in my hands that we MADE.

SA: The book and the site are almost like two different animals. Tavi and Anaheed had their work cut out for them when it came down to editing content. First and foremost, it was a space issue. There would have to be an encyclopedia set to accommodate all the amazing Rookie web content from the last year.

So the book literally took on a life of its own. I was not a part of the editing process but on our end (I worked directly with Tracy Hurren the designer/project manager at Drawn And Quarterly), I saw the book become its own entity. Each page informed the other and so forth as it unfolded. I find this happens with the making of books. It’s magic.

Rookie absolutely has to be in print. It’s so much nicer to read an object you can hold in your hands. A lot of the content needs that personal kind of exchange especially due to its nature.

  • Cover

    Rookie Yearbook 1

  • 3

    Rookie Yearbook 1

There are an amazing amount of collaborators and contributors in this book! What do you think having so many different voices brings to it?

AA: And those are just a fraction of the collaborators and contributors on our website! We like having a wide range of voices and styles because we want to represent as many takes on teenage-girlhood as we possibly can, though of course no one can ever come close to representing 100 percent of the female population. We’re always adding more voices to the mix, and listening to what our readers want to see from us.

The content, obviously aimed at girls, covers a whole load of topics – what kind of girl and age-group is this book aimed at?

AA: Every kind of girl from 13 to 19.

What does the Rookie Yearbook hope to do, or what word does it seek to spread?

AA: It seeks to make girls happy, by letting them know that they’re great the way they are. They don’t have to change anything to be “cool” or attractive or acceptable. They can just do what makes them happy. That’s the coolest thing you can do, anyway.

SA: I see Rookie as a guide to showing young women how to find and be who they truly are – finding the self. It was something I didnt have growing up and I see that in the reader comments over and over. Everyone is wishing they had a Rookie while they were growing up and figuring it out. I had Sassy, mind you. Rookie has taken things to a whole other level thanks, in part, to the internet and the generosity of the contributors.

  • 5

    Rookie Yearbook 1

  • 6

    Rookie Yearbook 1

Can you tell us a little about the process of designing the yearbook?

SA: The book happened very quickly. We made it happen in about six weeks. I flew to Montreal to work directly with Drawn And Quarterly. Having spent the last year illustrating with Rookie, I occupy an interesting netherworld between the publisher and the site – both of whom I have the utmost respect for so in many ways, this was just a straight up dream job for me.

The publisher had put out my previous book which is actually how I came to find Rookie. We had good solid ground to pull off  the book project, two very great teams who all came together. I dont think any other group could have done this work in that time-frame. When the content was solid, it was just Tavi, Tracy and me putting it down on paper. Tavi was on the Rookie Roadtrip and was art directing via email. We managed to do this part without a single phone call (I’d say there was alot of psychic communication going on). We are all fairly like-minded so we kind of worked together as one brain, especially in the final stages.

So there’s been a website, a book and a road trip – what’s next on the Rookie agenda?

AA: We’re talking about making a calendar. We want to make a sex-ed booklet at some point. And we have some other exciting stuff in the works for next summer, but I can’t talk about it yet.

What was your favourite part of making Rookie Yearbook?

AA: Working with Tavi and Sonja and the Drawn & Quarterly staff. Those are my GIRLS.

  • 7

    Rookie Yearbook 1

  • 8

    Rookie Yearbook 1

  • 10

    Rookie Yearbook 1

  • 12

    Rookie Yearbook 1

  • 13

    Rookie Yearbook 1

  • 15

    Rookie Yearbook 1

  • 11

    Rookie Yearbook 1

Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Publication View Archive

  1. Emilyoberman-snl-int-hero

    One of the undoubted highlights of this year’s Design Indaba conference in Cape Town was hearing Pentagram partner Emily Oberman detail her long-running work on Saturday Night Live. Emily has worked with the programme for 20 years, creating three separate versions of its identity, various title sequences and even spoof adverts to run in the breaks (like this). Now Emily has teamed up with writer Alison Castle to produce Saturday Night Live: The Book, a 500-page paean to the show which coincides with its 40th anniversary this autumn.

  2. Snask-printing-friends-int-list

    “Oh for Christ’s sake how many more independent food magazines could there possibly be?” someone is probably asking right now as they look at this article – and to be fair to them, they’d have a point. But fret not, we aren’t here to herald the arrival of another culinary periodical geared towards the aesthetically-minded foodie. This is in fact Issue 8 of the litho-lover’s fanbook, Printing Friends and the food theme is just a one-off.

  3. Craigoldham-int-main

    Last week a book arrived in our office via the hands of It’s Nice That director Alex Bec. He told us all it was created by Craig Oldham, who he had just seen give a brilliant talk about the creation of the publication. It’s called In Loving Memory of Work, and it is a spectacularly well-designed, excitingly and refreshingly well-informed book documenting the UK miners’ strike between 1984 and 1985. For something so long, violent and shocking that happened in recent history, I’ve sometimes felt that the miners’ strike hasn’t really been talked about as much as it should have been. But I can see why: it’s hard to get to grips with something that horrible happening to so many people and so nearby.

  4. Calm-and-collected-sad-int-list

    About a month ago we stepped off a gloomy grey street in east London and into the rays of an indoor sunshine. At Protein Space in east London a giant orange light was recreating the warmth that emanates from the sun, a steelpan ensemble in the corner was spewing out tropical melodies, and a whole wall plastered in fluorescent illustration and artworks was attracting everybody within a five metre radius, like moths to a printerly flame. The occasion was S.A.D, a weekend exhibition put on by the lads behind Studio Calm & Collected to assuage the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, brought on by the relentless British winter.

  5. Main1

    As numerous Instagram posts will testify, people just love to look at buildings getting knocked down. There’s something so captivating about that huge, brutal, utter destruction and the debris it brings. Perhaps it reminds us of the fleeting transience of life itself. Perhaps we just love mess, cranes and diggers. Either way, this surely universal fascination with smashing shit up means that we’re very, very into a new project from Alina Schmuch, a photographer who has put together the book Script of Demolition.

  6. Gmnieves-main-int

    The only thing more joyous and fascinating than peering at Geoff McFetridge’s paintings is seeing the sketches that were made by his hand in the lead-up to their creation. We’ve gushed before about Geoff a lot, particularly about the fact that he more often than not works from his mind rather than from life. His sketchbooks are full of diagrams and viewpoints invented by his brain and scribbled down before evolving into beautiful, serene paintings, and have just been collected into a new publication from my very own favourite publishers, Nieves.

  7. Chris-clarke-the-guardian-thefashion_redesign_coverstory1-int-list-2

    Described as “bold, bright and boisterous,” The Guardian’s redesign of its biannual magazine The Fashion manages to navigate that tricky aesthetic of merging playful with high-end. The magazine, which launched in 2013, was redesigned by The Guardian deputy creative director Chris Clarke, who aimed to align the supplement more with the paper’s other products. As such, there’s a new display font, a refined icon and a new typographic logo-mark which also acts as a page divider and guides the eye round the content in a simple, almost Bauhaus-esque way.

  8. Krass-mag-10-int

    KRASS is a nod to the function of a magazine as something to be taken home, read in bed, cut up, stuck up, passed around,” says Sanja Grozdanic, co-founder of the new publication. “We were motivated by the lofty ideals one finds studying Journalism or Literature, that are quickly extinguished in the real world. The medicine for that is to create your own world – one that happens to grant you access to a never-ending supply of brilliant minds.”

  9. Brick_01_cover_wizkhalifa-int-list

    There’s no question that BRICK has been the attraction of choice in the It’s Nice That studio this week. Its fluorescent green logotype and Wiz Khalifa’s fixing gaze on the cover combine to act like metal to magpies, and within seconds of picking it up you’ve been drawn in. It might be to a feature in which ex Death Row Records employee Nina Bhadreshwar reflects on her friendship with Tupac, or one where Cam’ron and T.I. discuss staying relevant after 15 years in the game, or editor-in-chief Grant Brydon gets inside the brain of Joey Bada$$. Either way, there’s no putting it down.

  10. Dbg-book-int-list

    We’re huge fans of David Brandon Geeting at It’s Nice That, so news that his work has been immortalised in the form of a gloriously colourful new publication by Pau Wau books was music to our tired ears. Infinite Power is full of his characteristic still lifes, removing everyday objects from common use to make them appear utterly isolated and a bit strange. Copper piping topped with an egg? Check. A fluffy rug paired with a garlic clove? It’s in there. A never-ending hug of extension leads? He’s got that too. David, you complete us.

  11. Nikhartley-everyst-3-int

    Nik Hartley’s Every Street records three days worth of haircut highlights at Stylz barber shop in North-East Lancashire. Alongside the strong cuts are shots of the red-brick terraces that line the streets, bunting and electricity pylons. There’s a nice sense of pride to the portraits, both of a good haircut and more pertinently, the social hub of a hometown.

  12. Ewen-spencer-int-list-new

    To describe Ewen Spencer as anything less than a pillar of British counterculture would be to do him an extreme disservice. Having served stints at iconic magazines The Face and Sleazenation in the 1990s he has since watched the rise and fall of UK garage, documented the grittiest corners of grime, shot teenagers partying in Napoli and Ayia Napa and caught the best of European styling which has made its way over to Miami. He actually told us about some of it at our Here conference last year, and if you’re interested you can watch the full talk here.

  13. Boys-girls-list-int

    I realise that a key part of my job is overcoming the difficulty in describing for the internet just how great printed matter is in the flesh, but with Girls and Boys magazines I really feel like I’ve got my work cut out for me. Created by fashion photographer and art director Brendan Freeman, the two new biannual publications celebrate the freshest in new model talent, and they do so in the simplest, cleanest way imaginable – large-format black-and-white magazines which pair outfit shots with close-up portraits.