January is traditionally a time for change—with a new year comes a blank slate, a chance to steer your own personal ship in an entirely new direction. This January in particular is a time for change for 20/20 and for myself, as the magazine celebrates its namesake year, 2020, and I pass the torch to a new art director, Michael Di Loia, while I begin a new journey as art director of WebMD Magazine.
As excited as I am for this opportunity, saying goodbye to 20/20 and the optical world makes this move bittersweet. I’ve spent a good portion of my career designing 20/20 Magazine and at every major milestone—from getting married to starting a family—my 20/20 family has been with me. Working with this tight-knit team for the past 15 years, I consider them not just my colleagues but my friends, their support and kindness buoying me whether the challenges I’m facing are personal or professional. I’ve grown so much, learned so much and laughed so much. Thank you James, Christine, Jillian, Victoria, Andy and Julie—it’s all about the company you keep, and I’ve had some great company.
I would also like to extend a big thank you to all the wonderful people in the optical industry I’ve met over the years. When I first started at the magazine, I worked behind the scenes laying out articles and knew little about eyewear, expecting to move to a new publication in a year or two. I didn’t anticipate that I would come to love all things optical—both the product and the people behind it. Fifteen years later, I’m still designing story layouts, but I’m also photographing, writing and making videos about eyewear, venturing from my desk to view new collections, talk to designers and learn what I can from those in the industry. There is a tremendous amount of talent and creativity behind this ultimate accessory, and the people involved are truly amazing. I’m lucky to have been a part of it all.
But enough looking back, it’s time to look forward. What can you expect from 20/20 in 2020? A celebration of what we are as we evolve into something new. Changes will be coming; our incoming art director Michael will take the magazine on a new visual path beginning with our February issue, bringing a fresh perspective to everything from photo shoots to page layouts. What’s not going to change? The in-depth product coverage, conversations with designers, industry news updates, original still life photography and inspiring fashion shoots will continue, as will my monthly Street Seen page. (You didn’t really think I could just walk away from the magazine, did you?) So let’s not call it a goodbye… let’s just say, “Eye’ll be seeing you.”
• Iris Johnson