The Port Clinton High School Alumni Hall of Fame has announced that its 2020 inductee is Edward M. Gabel, who will join an elite group recognized for their outstanding achievement and contributions in their field. The induction ceremony was to have taken place during the Rotary Honors Banquet at Port Clinton High School, but due to COVID-19, the induction will be postponed until May 2021.
Gabel is a 1982 graduate of Port Clinton High School. His artistic ability was recognized as early as third grade by Sister Lucille at Immaculate Conception School. He continued to develop his skills through high school, where art teacher Jeanie Radloff taught, encouraged and inspired him. During that time, Gabel also created illustrations for the Revista school yearbook.
After high school, Gabel went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1986. He used his portfolio of artwork printed in the campus newspaper to become a staff artist for the Asbury Park Press and the Toledo Blade. In 1997, his illustrations for the Asbury Park Press won awards from the Society of Newspaper Design, attracting the attention of Time magazine, which offered him a position at their Rockefeller Center headquarters in New York City.
At Time magazine, Gabel’s work reached national and international audiences. He won awards from the Society of Publication Designers and the Best in Show award at Malofiej, an international competition for information graphics held in Spain.
Gabel was frequently asked to create cover illustrations for Time, placing him among an elite group of artists. He has illustrated the magazine’s cover more than a dozen times.
As Time’s Associate Graphics Director, he illustrated many of the magazine’s full-spread graphics, including the Sept. 11, 2001 special edition of Time, where his assignment was to diagram the paths of the airplanes that struck the World Trade Center towers. It helped to readers to better comprehend the tragedy.
Gabel is one of only a few civilians to ever fly a B-1 Bomber. His diagram of a B-1 mission that occupied a spread in Time was noticed by members of the Air Force stationed in Ellsworth, S.D., who had flown the mission. Gabel was asked to sign and number 200 prints for air base personnel. In return, he was taken up in a B-1 Bomber and actually given the controls for about 40 minutes, despite his complete lack of flying experience.
Gabel left Time after 10 years to become Vice President at Joe Zeff Design, a design studio run by Time’s former Graphics Director. In addition to magazine covers for Time, ESPN, Rolling Stone, and even Time rival Newsweek, the talented artist created artwork for corporations, universities and entertainment companies. He created the album artwork for “Watch the Throne,” the platinum-selling album by Jay-Z and Kanye West; the marquee artwork for “Sister Act,” a Broadway play; and many of the highly publicized apps to first appear on the iPad.
With colleagues, Gabel formed Brobel Design in 2014 in Westfield, New Jersey. He continues to illustrate covers for national magazines including Time, and also animates Time’s covers for social media.
Gabel’s artwork has been viewed around the world, being used by Amazon, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, ESPN, DC Comics and the Wall Street Journal, among others. As our world is always changing, he adapted his art for new and exciting platforms, now producing virtual reality experiences for mobile phone users, including a Batman experience for Snapchat that’s been viewed by over 19 million users. He has visited and lectured students in China about his creative process. Gabel’s talented creations can be viewed at edgabel.com.
Gabel’s wife, Mimi Krupp Gabel, says their daughter, Gabriella, has inherited his gift and each year they work together to design family Christmas cards and Halloween costumes, which have won numerous awards at local events.
Gabel also shares his gift by doing charitable projects for the Cranford Elk’s Lodge; St. Michael’s School in Cranford, N.J.; flyers and T-shirt designs for “Warriors for Warriors” 5K runs for military families; and also finds time to design sets and programs for his daughter’s school drama program.
Gabel credits his achievements to the support of his wife and daughter, and to the encouragement from his mother and father to pursue a career in art, as well as his teachers at Immaculate Conception School, Port Clinton Junior High School and, of course, Port Clinton High School.
To learn more about the PCHS Alumni Hall of Fame, including nomination forms, visit www.pccsd.net and click on the Alumni tab.