Project Files: NMC Magazine – A Pale Blue Dot

This past spring, I was asked to be the Design Editor for the 40th edition (Issue 2) of the NMC Magazine at our local community college here in Traverse City, MI – Northwestern Michigan College (NMC). The title/theme of the magazine this issue was ‘A Pale Blue Dot,’ after Carl Sagan’s well-known speech (Youtube) about planet earth and the scope of our time and reality in comparison to the size of the cosmos. I had never been a design editor for a large publication before, but I had worked with plenty of magazines in the past, so I agreed.


It was certainly a new experience, and it was a struggle at times, but the finished product was incredibly rewarding. If you ever get a chance to work with a magazine or newspaper behind the scenes, I recommend you take it. My horizons were definitely broadened, and it was quite a difference working with multiple designers & staff all on one project, versus working on something by myself. What we were able to get done in such a short period of time far surpassed my expectations.

I want to give kudos to all the wonderfully talented designers and writers that I got to work with on this project. I have worked with some incredible creatives in the past, but the work created by the students and staff at NMC was just amazing in it’s creativity, range, and style. I hope to get to work with some of them on future outside projects, should I find myself so lucky.

If you want to see the full issue of the NMC Magazine in person, you can find them (for free) at most bookstores and coffee shops in Traverse City, MI, at the NMC campuses, or follow this link: ‘NMC Magazine – A Pale Blue Dot’, to see the digital version. We really put together a great issue, and I’m proud of all the time and effort everyone put in.


Joel Mann is owner and operator of ThunderstruckMG, a darn good designer, and well known for his rugged good looks.
For more info on ThunderstruckMG, to inquire about their services, or to view some of their previous work, go to

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