VIA Noke Magazine was created in 2012 by friends and fellow graphic designers Chelsea Brandt and Emily Sibitzky. While discussing their need for a creative outlet and their similar interest in the local arts scene, the idea to create a magazine to share Roanoke’s visual artists with a wider audience began to come together.
After starting their company Desired Hype Design in February 2012, the two began promoting the upcoming publication through social media, during local art events, and by presenting at a local PechaKucha Night. Advertising sales and a small yet successful Kickstarter campaign completed the funding of the first issue, which debuted at Festival in the Park in downtown Roanoke the first weekend in June.
After completing the first issue entirely on their own, Chelsea and Emily found plenty of help with consecutive publications. Over the next three editions there were fourteen guest writers, two spreads designed by college students studying graphic design, and partnerships with over a dozen local arts organizations.
Four issues of VIA Noke were published over the course of a year. Over 10,000 copies were distributed to over eighty locations throughout Roanoke City, Roanoke County and Floyd County, with additional distribution directly to local high schools and college campuses.
In the spring of 2013, Chelsea and Emily decided to cease publication and pursue opportunities elsewhere. Though VIA had been widely accepted, it was mostly a labor of love for the designers and was not sustainable long term or long distance. However, both Chelsea and Emily are still incredibly proud of what they were able to create and the experience they gained, and are forever grateful for all of the support they received from the art community, contributors, and readers.