Getting Published

At the talk in LA with Margaret Russell last week we were discussing how designers – now that the magazines have been closing – can still get published or have their work seen. The easiest way is to a blog with photographs and descriptions of jobs so websurfers can see what you’re doing. You should also have a good website that gives you a full description of the various jobs and photos. Elle Decor is about to launch a new service that will allow designers to put their work up on the Elle Decor website (it’s a regional thing) – I don’t think it’s up and running yet, but keep checking their new website, which is looking quite amazing.

As part of the discussion we spoke about regional magazines like New York Spaces here in NY which shows beautiful work and is a great publication. By targeting regional publications, you are able to focus on a more specific clientèle. Every city has one. If not in those sort of publications, try your local newspapers. But come up with an intelligent angle for a story for them – not just photos of your work. Find an inventive hook for them – how to redesign your home on a budget, or how to breathe new life into an antique armchair.

If you are set on being published in the national magazines, you can choose from Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Veranda and Traditional Home. These publications do reviews on a monthly basis. Whatever you do, be sure you have looked at the magazine before you pitch. And be brutally honest with yourself. A) Does the job you’re pitching fit the profile of the magazine? B) Is my work at the same standard as those featured in the magazine? C) Find the Decorating Editor and send them a good selection of photos with a note, description of the job as well as a floorplan. Be sure you are addressing the editor directly – tailor your note. Margaret Russell said that she would get work addressed to another editor-in-chief and she would dismiss that job purely on that basis. So be sure to direct your letter to that specific magazine and be clear on the spelling and all the information.

I’m not a believer in these new websites where you have to pay to have your work featured on it. No magazine is going to take a job from a website and put it in their magazine, especially if the work is already available online. Don’t be fooled. They won’t manage to get you published.

If you have any other ideas and how you got your work published, please share as it is something that is important for every designer. If you get rejected, don’t take it personally. It may have to do with what they’re looking for, how many jobs they already have or the theme of their issue. I just submitted a job to a big magazine but was rejected due to the fact that they had too many similar jobs. I’m not taking it personally, but it does bite.

11 comments


  • I just found your blog and I’m glad I did! Great post! I’m off to explore your blog a little longer.

    April 05, 2010
  • Vincent, this entry is amazingly generous of you. Thank you for sharing with us. The design business climate is changing and obviously we need to relearn how to market our services. With articles/entries like this one, you are creating a commaraderie from within. I would like to suggest to you and other seasoned designers to consider mentoring less experienced designers. Your suggestion for regional magazines submissions is excellent. For California, C Magazine is a good choice. S. Segerstrom, Sacramento

    April 06, 2010
  • Great points Vicente. By the way the Spaces KC magazine is the best!!

    April 06, 2010
  • k. lohnes

    I was a design/decor editor for years. It was always obvious when a designer would put together a slew of projects and send them to all the competing magazines at the same time. The letter was generic and half the projects sent in would not be suitable for the magazine.
    I think designers need to choose which magazine they’re work most suits and start with that one. Send in your best/most recent unpublished work and then follow up a month later via email or phone. Have a second magazine on your list and approach that magazine ONLY once you have heard back from your first choice.

    April 06, 2010
  • Happy Easter Vicente.,
    As usual, your blog is so helpful to me. I just had my first “big” job professionally photographed. I am thrilled with the results. My photographer already pitched the photos to her contact at House Beautiful, who liked them but said they were a better fit for Traditional Home. My photographer (Ellen Mcdermott, folks, she is great!) doesn’t have a contact there, but now I know just how to proceed.
    Also glad to have you confirm what I suspected—that I shouldn’t post my new photos to my website or blog until they have been rejected everywhere by the print magazines.
    Thanks once more. Lynn

    April 06, 2010
  • FANTASTIC post! Thank you so much for sharing these tips and your experience Vicente. Although I may have been featured online or HGTV shows, and I have initiated a blog, I have yet to be published and am very much aspiring to do so.

    Thanks again…
    :D Lynda
    nyclq-focalpoint.blogspot.com

    April 06, 2010
  • Gary Nelling

    Vicente – This is very thoughtful, helpful information and the responses add a lot. As always thank you. If you haven’t already, check out Atlanta Homes and Lifestyle which I think is one of the better regional ones like New York Spaces. – Gary

    April 06, 2010
  • Thanks for this great article. My heart is still broken over losing Southern Accents! Such a beautiful publication that has left a large hole in the design world. Look toward other publications such as Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Veranda, Elle Decor, Traditional Home and of course House Beautiful. Will I ever get over losing my favorite mag? I think not.
    The Designer Insider

    April 08, 2010
  • Great post and advice! – an issue for all of us in the design world trying to get our content out there while magazines are dropping and blogs are taking over!

    April 08, 2010
  • HotelDesigns (80,000 reader visits a month) is always interested in images of new or refurbished hotel interiors. We publish daily and will accept articles from any validated source. You must own copyright of images submitted and give us open right to use them in the article. We are an image rich environment so articles without images will not be used. We can accept video in wmv or flv formats.

    Rules are simple – we always credit the designer and architect if we know them. We credit just once so if you repeatedly use your name we will edit it to once, unless you are in our Directory in which case we will also provide links to your website etc.

    We use at least 5 images per article. Articles should be around 400 words – more if they are 10 images or more. Images should be jpeg, at least 1000 pixels wide and be interior spaces only – no people. Plans or visuals are aceptable but again as jpeg please.

    We exist to promoite teh best of functional commercail interior design to theHotel industry. Please make sureyou read some Reviews, miniviews and news articles before submission so you know what we are about.

    April 16, 2010
  • […] posting my question here in response to today’s blog post out of paranoia, I guess. I know a lot of designers read your blog and I don’t want to scare […]

    April 19, 2010

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