The original logo and basic style
of N magazine was from Dennis Spear 18 years ago. The layout and look has stood the test of time. Now that the magazine is fully online, the style is staying consistent. When you click on the current issue, you are taken to Facebook to see the full color pages and use the arrows, right or left, to go through the pages.

N magazine Publisher Dennis Spear says he has always been a designer. “It began in grade school,” he says. “I was very much into automobile design and logo images. I used to create special paint schemes for bicycles and actually painted bikes with those designs.”
He explains the difference between an artist and a designer: “While there is crossover, an artist interprets their view of the world around them in unique ways. A designer takes the ideas of others and creates an interpretation in graphic form, like a logo or brochure.”

In high school in Placerville, he worked with art teacher C.W, Helderle to create a commercial art class, the first of its kind in the El Dorado school system. Commercial art became a lifelong love. As a French Horn player in the school band, he designed posters for concerts. Through many hours in the local library, he learned about commercial design and design directors around the world. “The library and what I learned there was like a college education,” he says.
“I still support and honor the work of libraries.”

After high school, he began a series of jobs that led to an award-winning career. His map making skills landed him a job at Inter County Title Company. The local newspaper (The Mountain Democrat) hired him to design ads, and

he produced a weekly comic strip, “Don’t Bug Me” which has now become “Fly in the Ointment”. An original cartoon is on page 5 of this issue. He led a summer camp design and arts m class for the El Dorado County Office of Education for many years.

Dennis’ wide reading included the Carnegie Report that led to the creation of PBS. “That spurred me to write a grant to create a new design department at KVIE, Channel 6,” he says. For the next 20 years, he designed show opens, set design and promotional designs for KVIE and PBS. He received many awards for his work. Nationally, PBS honored him with Gold Awards for both design and promotion for the Pledge Free campaign. He is one of the few design directors to ever receive both. The Poynter institute of Media studies in Florida awarded him a study fellowship. “That experience expanded my life and thinking. I left KVIE and looked to a new future creating museum exhibits, animations, print material and much more. I redesigned and organized Comstock's Business, a local B-to-B magazine.”

Dennis took over as publisher and creative director of N magazine from publisher, Marni Leger and founding editor, Karen Wilson, “For 18 years,” he says, “this magazine has been a popular source of information for the Natomas Region. While totally online and no longer mailed print, the magazine is forging ahead in cyberspace. It is a rough time for any creative business, but Natomas is my home and I plan to keep creating for the community as long as I can.”

(picture above) Dennis in his work
space at the Mountain Democrat
in his home town of Placerville.