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SDPIX magazine gets a whole new look for its ten-year anniversary

SDPIX celebrates 14 years of influence on the San Diego LGBT community.
Photo credit:
Shane Fabila

San Diego has only one social pictorial based LGBT magazine, and it’s called SDPIX. This year marks its fourteenth online, and tenth year in print.

To commemorate the event, the magazine is getting a modern look from cover to layout featuring a sexy spread of GR Jeff by Shane Fabila and Cali Griebel. 

Designer Shane Fabila explains his influences for the updated SDPIX. 

"Having drawn inspiration from trends in contemporary editorial design, my artistic vision for the redesign of the magazine incorporates full-bleed imagery, modern sans-serif typography, and the integration of a grid system."

Gone is the classic vertical white stripe along the left-hand side of the cover photo. Now the masthead is across the top, leaving more room for the picture. 

Although the magazine is undergoing some changes, it still retains the same great content people have come to expect since it first hit the shelves. 

Developed online by Johnathan Hale in 2002, SDPIX has grown to become the go-to guide for everything from special events to pictorials of friends having a good time in and around Hillcrest.

Community leaders, business owners and non-profit organizations have also relied on the publication to reach thousands of readers, keeping them informed of what’s going on in the community.  

The website quickly grew and would eventually become the 73k strong membership presence it is on Facebook today.

In 2006, SDPIX began its venture into print, using popular photographers and models to create tantalizing and interesting covers, maintaining its strong visual identity.

Timmy Geibel was the featured cover model gracing issue number one of the print edition, posing in a seven page pictorial called “The Equestrian.”

Seven years later photographer Cali Griebel came to the publication and shot her first cover and centerfold, "I wanted to create an image that was never done by the magazine," she said. "So I snapped a Rich's staff photo with a three-second countdown, three takes, and no photoshop, which is why the ground is covered in water.  It was the start of wanting to challenge myself to create unique images."

Griebel says it is important to her that each cover she shoots captures a different facet in the LGBT community, and she is appreciative of Hale Media for allowing her to realize her vision, and has some ideas heading into the second decade. 

"Going forward I'd like to feature more women and continue to keep the covers I shoot as diverse as possible," she explains. "With every issue published, it's always exciting to open the magazine for the first time and see the photos in print."

Arguably, one cannot enter any local LGBT establishment and not recognize the signature butterfly hovering over the trademark masthead typography. 

Another change you will notice as SDPIX begins its second decade in print, is the feature well, or the largest part of the inside of the magazine. 

Picture groupings will no longer have a thick white border to separate them, instead the photos will appear larger and less divided. 

In celebration of the new look and the publication's 14th year, staff members, community leaders and business owners take time to reflect on the influence SDPIX has had over the community through the years. 

Cali Griebel (SDPIX Photographer): "My involvement in shooting LGBT events for the magazine has given me so many amazing opportunities to participate in our community. From the GLAAD Awards in Los Angeles, White Party in Palm Springs, San Diego Pride, to weekly nightlife, it's more than just taking a photo for the evening... it's documenting history that people will look back on decades from now. When I take photos, I always think about how these images will be preserved and cherished in the future 50 years from now."

Shane Fabila (Layout Designer): "From a young age I have always aspired to photograph a magazine cover and feature spread and, having recently graduated from college, this entire experience has been a dream come true. The magazine celebrates the gay community in many ways, and I am truly honored to have contributed to its 10th anniversary issue."

Mama’s Kitchen (Charitable Organization): “SDPIX is a consistent staple at all our events and a joy to work with,” said Aimee Halfpenny, Mama’s Kitchen. “Our marketing and PR efforts are augmented by their support and our event attendees love to be included in the experience."

Michael McQuiggan (Program Director of FilmOut): "SDPIX has contributed to FilmOut for several years now. They have stepped up to the plate with FilmOut advertising, photo opps, e-blasts, text discount tickets and contributed to our Monthly raffles. Not to mention the very popular SDPIX photo booth at our annual LGBT film festival. Patrons love seeing their photos in the SDPIX magazine which brings an even greater spotlight to our monthly screenings and annual LGBT film festival. We look forward to continuing our relationship with SDPIX for years to come."

Bob Lehman (Executive Director of San Diego Gay Men's Chorus): "I remember when SDPIX first began--we still owned Bourbon Street everybody loved to get their picture taken. That was great, but Johnathan Hale took that concept to a whole new level with SDPIX magazine.

SDPIX is the gold standard for high-end, high-fun, high-fashion publications. You can't help but pick up a copy every time you see it. 

What impresses me most is that SDPIX has such a strong commitment to our community. I see SDPIX at nearly every major fundraiser supporting our community groups. Johnathan Hale and SDPIX have been an invaluable partner to the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus. 

Jeff Jackson (Owner of Flicks): "The pictures of the people who make this community special are the highlight of my month. When I moved to San Diego, SDPIX was my introduction to the community. I am so happy they have done as well as they have. I am always excited to work with them. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary.”

Jim Winsor  (SDPIX photographer): "I've been the de facto content editor for SDPIX magazine since Issue 01. It's been a great experience to select the top 100+ photos each month, that best describe what the social scene in Hillcrest has been during that period, and then arrange them onto each page by venue. The end result has been a fascinating ten-year chronicle of our community, in pictures."

Benny Cartwright (SDPIX Street Team): “I've enjoyed reading and being a part of SDPIX magazine since its beginning in 2006, and it's amazing to see how popular the magazine continues to be! Just as they did over 10-years ago when it launched, everyone loves to see their photo in the magazine. Congratulations on the re-design and continued success!"

SDPIX will celebrate its 14th anniversary at Rich’s Nightclub on Saturday, July 30, with complimentary champagne and cake served between 10 pm and 11 pm.