I feel like I may have compromised a lot of my original intentions. For example, I said I would only use large, full-page images nor have any reference to a magazine or your everyday life whatsoever.
However, there is still a slight glimmer of evidence that these ideas remain. The majority of my images are, the above mentioned, full-page ones and a lot of my magazine is extremely distant from the norm.
But, these initial wants are ideas that were built on no foundation and were exactly that: ideas.
I think it was great to want to create something completely original and new, but in the production of it you see that it may not have worked.
I mean, the reader needs to be comfortable. They cannot simply dive bomb into a parallel world of adventure and be expected to really get it. I can go on the internet and see a picture of Hong Kong’s beautiful islands but am I really appreciating it? No. I am merely observing it and what I needed my magazine to do was to force that state of relaxation, subjectiveness and receptiveness to allow the reader to open themselves and truly experience ‘Food and Travel’.
Ultimately I have had to compromise some of the magazine’s gimmicks to ensure I do not compromise the magazine’s effect.
This is where I discuss decisions I made on each page. It should hopefully help me to express the high level of contemplation that has gone into every, seemingly small, choice.
This post may repeat a few of the points I have previously mentioned, but it is intended to briefly summarise ALL the decisions I made throughout the development of the idea and production of the magazine…
I never wanted to change my audience. The magazine’s content is directly aimed for a specific target: rich, potential retirees, with the desire for adventure.
- Function & Concept
I really just wanted the magazine to enable the reader to experience this adventure through exploration and senses. The existing magazine wasn’t a million miles away, there were just so many reminders and distractions in there, not allowing you to actually ‘Lose yourself.’ This was my concept and so the function, naturally, followed from this.
I mentioned before that the form would be that of a newspaper. The original idea of a small, portable magazine was flawed. I want the reader to get lost within the pages and, in a way, shut them out from their lives for a while.
In finding somewhere to print the magazine, I realised that there were a lot of specifications to observe. These included colour profiles, image quality, page size and other things. But the most confining was the compulsory 15mm margin all around the page (unless an image is a spread across two pages). This made the route of ‘minimal borders’ and ‘pushing it to the edge’ pretty much impossible. I had to find another way to express similar ideas.
I want the imagery to be big, to suck the reader in. You will notice a large space between text and imagery on pages 8-9 (the one with the stitched fish). This is deliberate to allow the images room to breathe and, I feel, they become much more awe-inspiring.
The original design had many, many gorgeous images rammed into one page and they were not done justice. They were works of art and should be treated as such, with room to stand there, alone, for the reader to examine and enjoy. The form’s compulsory 15mm margins almost created a frame for these images!
I wanted a font that wasn’t Helvetica-esque, nor a transitional serif. I was going to chose a (quite over the top) typewriter font. I chose this idea for a font because it seems to go hand-in-hand with travel. The idea of a traditional travel writer, travelling around with his typewriter and sending his stories, his adventures, back for my market audience to read on a Sunday morning. The original font was not legible enough which then lead me to select ‘Courier New.’
I added an extra millimetre indent to the outside of all text boxes, that were flush to the margins, this was to avoid any printing errors that maybe cut a fraction off of some letters.
I said before that I am looking for a photograph to use on my front cover that doesn’t reveal any secrets about the adventure within but uses a “seemingly never-ending sky or sea” to suggest the possibilities that are inside.
I originally chose the below image because it seemed to be never-ending. It was mysterious and entrancing like a wanted and best of all it only implies possibilities to contents.
However, I realised that the image is one of a very low quality. It would be appear extremely bitmapped in print so I had to find one that works as well but is much larger.
I decided on the ‘right’ image. It is a gorgeous hilltop view of a Greek restaurant but not many questions can be definitive here. It raises questions and, with that, curiosity.
It has a beautiful swoop to support an ongoing and never-ending skyline.
It is the perfect replacement for the original photograph.
For me, the cherry on the cake was that when folded in half, you can only see the ongoing landscape.
I needed to utilise this photograph and find a way to make it work when opened fully and when folded on the shelf.
I am deliberately trying to keep everything minimal here. As I mentioned before, it is about the imaging suggesting a world of desire within itself, and not giving away all the tricks on the cover. It was tricky to find a way for the photography and logo to sit in harmony.
My three potential covers are below:
I planned out my spreads like this. Mostly, I didn’t deviate too much. Doing this made me realise the grid would need to be very loose.
I then begun to replicate the sketches in InDesign and, when I was slightly satisfied with the way they were going, I decided I should print them to see how they were coming along. It would save me wasting any time on something that was dead before it even begun.
I could not print the actual size of the magazine at home. So to smaller scale, I did a test print of my spreads. I got right in close so that I could maybe recreate it’s size, I did this so I could see what spreads are working, what gutters might need tightening or maybe just to see what wasn’t working on print.
I went through it and highlighted potential solutions for any issues, what I could place in ineffective white space and I could also see any slight errors in positions.
This was a really good tool for me to see the pages before I pay for them to be printed.
As I mentioned before in Jake Tilson’s ‘Tales of 12 Kitchens’, I would explore the use of texture to add depth. I quickly realised I could not add a paper background behind my spreads. This was (a) because the printers warned me that a light grey may not be picked up by the printer and (b) because I was already printing on paper! In retrospect, it’s irrelevant. To add a background texture of paper… on paper?!
I just wasn’t needed, the method of print and the paper will add the depth in texture I wanted here.