• 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. List

    We often talk about the difficult second album at It’s Nice That, the problem being that when you pour every ounce of passion you have into version zero of a new project it can be tricky to replicate this energy the second time around. Rather than falling into that old trap though, the creators of art and commerce focused publication Noon appear to have taken a great leap over it. Following up from the first issue of which we made no secret of fawning over last time around they’ve somehow found time to sit back, regroup and then set out to create something even more impressive with issue two. Safe to say, it’s quite something to behold.

  2. List

    It’s been five months since Airbnb unveiled its shiny new brand identity and Belo logomark; five months since the internet went berserk with genitalia-inspired interpretations of DesignStudio’s stylised letter A. Needless to say in those five months the furore surrounding the brand has died down somewhat and the longevity of their new aesthetic has become clearer. Despite the initial fuss it looks like they’re still going strong.

  3. List-2

    “Hello, my name is Benjamin, but friends call me Benji,” begins the editor’s letter in the first edition of Benji Knewman, a new printed publication with the tagline “life that you can read.” Benji Knewman’s tone is so warm and inviting and tinged with the accent of its native Latvia that we can’t decide whether Benji’s a real life contributor (he’s listed as editor-at-large on the masthead) or a fictional construct created to lure us in. If it’s the former, we apologise for doubting you Benji, but if it’s the latter, it’s working marvellously.

  4. List

    Kids are weird. Granted I say this as a 30-year-old man with no children, no nieces and nephews and no godchildren, but in the limited dealings I have had with babies and toddlers and whatever you call those ones that are older than toddlers, they are all pretty bizarre. Artist and longtime friend of the site Lenka Clayton has confirmed my suspicions with her project called 63 Objects Taken From My Son’s Mouth..

  5. List-2

    Marrying a playful typographic approach, sensitive illustrations and deliciously tactile gold foil, the cover of The Recorder is a great indication of its contents: a beautifully designed ode to typography and its omnipresence.

  6. List

    There were poignant scenes in Berlin yesterday when the city marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the wide-ranging ramifications it had for the city, the country and indeed the world. Unsurprisingly such an historic milestone inspired various creative projects, from the terrific 8,000 balloon installation which ran the length of the old wall to Airbnb’s animation about reunification and remembering.

  7. List

    As the chilly nights of winter draw in, the sun-kissed samba fantasy that was this summer’s World Cup in Brazil seems lightyears ago. Creative projects inspired by the tournament were as prolific as the German team’s strikers, but it’s always nice to see something a little different, such as this lovely Brasil 2014 publication from the excellent Neil Bedford. Neil was at the tournament as part of a collaboration between Visa and our pals at The Green Soccer Journal but this booklet seems to include those pictures which weren’t used as part of that campaign. There’s wit and passion and pride and intensity throughout the images and an extraordinary shot of an Argentine supporter seemingly walking into the waves.

  8. List-2

    “It’s my magazine and I’ll photograph it in a hydrangea bush if I want to” I imagine editors Bertrand Trichet and Olivier Talbot singing as they snapped away. And why not? The brand new third issue of surfing magazine Acid is fluorescent pink, so it looks perfectly at home against some nice botany.

  9. List

    A year ago Darren Wall’s new games publishers Read-Only Memory released its first book charting the history of Sensible Software, a company whose creations defined many of our childhoods and teenage years.

  10. List

    You’ll probably gather form the title that Printing Friends magazine is all about litho fanatics hanging out and inspiring creative work, but for its seventh issue it’s widened its remit to tackle more universal and accessible themes like illustration, photography, typography and personal stories. It’s also travel-themed, meaning they’ve sent gangs of creatively-minded people off around the world to visit lands as far-flung as Austin, Texas, Johannesburg in South Africa and even Kyrgyzstan. Annoyingly Printing Friends is in Swedish so we don’t have a god-damned clue what happened on these trips, so instead we’d like to focus on Snask, whose design expertise has shaped the look and feel of this new edition.

  11. _list-rlr50_cover_subs

    Cycling magazine Rouleur has always been about much more than spokes and lycra. The publication – which in 2012 released previously unseen photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson – boasts a considered design aesthetic and stunning imagery, and is now celebrating the launch of its 50th issue with a cover designed by Sir Paul Smith. To mark this milestone, Rouleur’s assistant editor Andy McGrath talks us through some of his favourite cover images and the stories behind them.

  12. Cblist284-diners-de-gala-cover

    Salvador Dalí is known for his striking Surrealist paintings, forays into film and fashion and masterful moustache maintenance but, until now, not for his gastronomic talents. Few copies of his 1973 cookbook Les Diners de Gala were ever sold; perhaps potential purchasers were worried the book might mess with their minds, or they didn’t fancy eating anything from the most French chapter imaginable – “Les spoutniks astiqués d’asticots statistisques” – dedicated to snails and frogs.

  13. List-kurt

    Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain is easily one of the most mythologised, eulogised and conspiracy-theorised musicians of the last century. Whether we consider his sad induction into the 27-club, his tumultuous relationship with Malaysia Airlines mystery-solving wallflower Courtney Love or the various mental and physical ailments that manifested themselves so intensely through his songs, Kurt’s was a life destined for scrutiny.