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Jesse Marinoff Reyes :

Washington Criminal Defense
June 1988 issue
Design: Dale Yarger (1950-2012)

Another design in our ongoing tribute to my friend, Dale Yarger.

Washington Criminal Defense was and is the publication of the Seattle-based Washington (State) Defender Association and the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Sounds dry doesn’t it? Well, for a beefed up newsletter (back then in the mid-1980s, about 14 pages) they efforted to make the publication more professional and magazine-like. Dean Paton did the interior page design and Dale was the first consultant they brought in to beef up the look. Dale recruited Yours Truly to contribute as a freelance designer, and he and I and Michael Dougan also contributed as illustrators (my lasting contribution it turns out, is the masthead design which, as far as I know, is still being used at least as of 2009).

JMR Design

But it was Dale who introduced highly graphic, conceptual covers—another tradition they are still practicing—a means to punch up the real publication aspect, but to take advantage of limited resources for an art budget and limited-color printing (mostly two-color, as this one is). I wish I had more of these handy, because as a collective unit they were surprising, evocative, with a hard-hitting editorial style. This gave me my first exposure to crafting a standard-format magazine cover, and as I was terribly young at the time and struggling to find clients, I found it incredibly encouraging that Dale thought enough of my work to recruit me to “share” the client which he easily could have kept to himself, as most would. Dale understood the needs of the client however, and knew they’d benefit from additional talent, much in the same manner as The Rocket magazine did (the Seattle music tabloid we both were contributors to), if not on the same scale. Dale and I alternated designing covers while one or the other of us were busy, and eventually they added other freelancers.

By the later-1980s, I was hired to art direct The Rocket and eventually my time was consumed by that during the deadline cycle—though Dale continued designing WCD covers and this is a typical—and typically great—example.

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