Beginning to Piece it Together

I have now (110%, honest) decided upon a form and I think it’s a great form. There was a bit of wrestle in my mind that involved the extraction of the reader from the norm. It mainly occurred in reference to the form. How do I make this magazine capable of extracting you from your lives and thrusting you into an experience.
I was originally going to make a portable magazine, flawed in that it was meant to be read at home and create the feeling of travel from there. I then moved onto an abnormally large magazine (near A3) hoping this may act as blinkers to the reader and let them lose themselves. However, it then occurred to me that I should try a newspaper. This made perfect sense because the size is the same (and so would still act as blinkers) but in this design I have given the reader a form in which they are comfortable reading. This was something I was ignoring! If I want the reader to get lost, first they must be relaxed. There aren’t many more ways that I could have actually gotten my audience, of older generations, to feel comfortable just by reading something.

My next battle was with the original idea of having nothing familiar, and every page being something new and interesting and with the more familiar form of a newspaper. I was unsure whether or not this form was the right way to do it. I thought about it for a while but ultimately decided it would be best to, compromise this aspect of the concept and, have a small part of familiarity to the magazine. The form works better as it now has a purpose and, in retrospect, now that not everything is removed from the routine life reader is able to get relaxed enough to be able truly lose themselves.

I had to move quickly with initiating and producing this idea, for to meet the deadline, I would need to have the designs completed by 2pm on Tuesday the 7th. I started off by pulling, something like, 45 hours over the weekend to have the visuals finished by Monday night. I then allowed myself Tuesday morning to tweak and refine any areas that weren’t quite there.
This was a great plan because, aside from almost collapsing on Tuesday, I managed to dedicate myself 110% to the magazine. I think the pressure of a, self-set, deadline really helped in my getting excited about an editorial brief. As I mentioned before, editorial is something that does not particularly thrill me but I was determined to not let myself down and just do something, with no intention of enjoying it and making it exciting for myself.
I think the fact that I enjoy pressure was key to this.

The idea that this magazine was in the form of a newspaper, I realised, was problematic in it’s functionality as a magazine. A tabloid paper is just shy of A3, when unfolded, and this simply wouldn’t fit on a magazine rack. It would have to be folded in half to fit so, effectively, half of the front cover was not going to be visible.
I’m so glad I realised this, as it allowed me to consider every aspect of the cover and it could have easily slipped by me, resulting in a cover that just didn’t work!

I decided I would respond to this issue with the below solution:

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It would have information on it, such as the Title and contents. It would be all the information that litters the (otherwise beautiful) photography of the existing magazine’s front page. This was something I immediately disliked in the initial analysing of it way, and this way I can remove this sleeve and allow the gorgeous cover imagery to really be shown off.

This did mean that the back cover would be folded inwards and would not be seen. So, the back cover cannot have any important elements on it, such as a bar code or any sentences that I may use to “sell” it and make it more appealing.

Finally, in finalising the form of the newspaper-style mag I realised that once the sleeve is removed you may simply throw it in the bin or get misplaced. If this does happen, the reader will need to know information such as issue number and the title. So I should put this on the cover somewhere, but it cannot be over powering at all.

I now have the skeleton of a newspaper-styled magazine to ease the reader into comfort and extract them from their day-to-day lives, thus instilling the experience of Food and Travel. Boom.

Cover Work 01

I was heading down two routes. Firstly, exploring the texture on the front cover as well as inside and the second was a beautifully slick and mature approach of black and whites.

Neither were particularly winning. The sophisticated look was falling down on many levels because it wasn’t coherent with the inside. The textured front gave away any surprise and wonder inside!

What to do?

exphotoI begun to look at expressive photography and how I can make an image imply what is inside, without giving too much away.
I read a bit of ‘Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters’ Guide to Shooting from the Heart’ and it says the following:

“Capturing the perfect horizon can be the most inspirational of all photography – as we focus our eye on a seemingly never-ending sky or sea, we look towards the future and all that possibly awaits us there.”

This tells me of the power of photography. Do I even need to enravel myself in design? The right imagery  could speak for itself? It wouldn’t matter if it aligned perfectly with the ever-changing, internal styling of the magazine. But most importantly it wouldn’t give anything away about the surprises in store. What I need is to find a photograph that uses a “seemingly never-ending sky or sea” to suggest a possible future within.

Seems simple enough.

Then, to further complicate the search, I realised that a magazine of this size will be larger than anything else on the shelf. It will need to be folded to be stacked.
I address this issue in the next post…

Living Logo

I wanted to get away from the logo that was already being used because it was like a stamp, with fonts that remind the reader of the ordinary world.

What I mean by this is, Futura, Times New Roman and Minion Pro are all used in the original logo and are all very common and expected fonts, often associated with computers and the digital world.
My concept relies on the reader not being reminded of these things and, as such, I need to change the logo.
I like to think that I’m a trendy guy! And a very popular trend today is something called “living logos” and “flexible identities.” These are logos that are more engaging and adapt to their environments/purpose.
I want my logo to feel like less of a stamp and more of an accomplice to an image.
I won’t completely forget the original logo, after all, it is their identity. But throughout the magazine, if the logo is required I will ensure it fades in.
Below are 3 variations of the living logo, Greek, Saudi Arabian and Oriental:

Logo-Variations-01

Body Font

My body font was criticised in the presentation I did last week. I was told that it was not legible enough, but I felt that that was part of it’s charm. Anyway, I ultimately thought it best to change it.
I liked the idea of a typewriter-styled font. It ties perfectly to the idea of travel and travel diary’s.
I looked around for a more legible font that would feel rustic and typewritten. The word “legible” kept bringing me back to ‘Courier New’.
‘Courier New’ was a more legible version ‘A Typewriter for Me’, a font I found online. It was much better as it also has variations (bold, italic, bold italic).
‘Courier New’ is a font similar, in style, to the original choice but is far more legible.

Capture

Behancing my Inspiration

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For the third time now, I have gotten to the stage of trying to reproduce my ideas in InDesign. I am having trouble trying to escape the rigid structure that the magazine has already, in particular for the news pages. I want to find a way that completely removes the idea of a grid and a plan. These spreads need to feel unusual, but at the same time coherent.

I found some possible solutions on Behance.net. The below links are some travel and food magazine designs. 

I particularly enjoyed the “Dwell” magazine, with it’s acetate cover. It really allowed the cover’s photo the space it needs. It would work great for mine as it is all about bragging about and showing off the photography.
“Statoil” was never going to work for mine, but I thought the busy, eccentric layout was unusual and unexpected.
“Up/Down” uses it’s photography bloody amazingly!! I love this magazine! It feels contemporary and at times not like a magazine. One of the spreads feels like a manual and this is the sort of thing I need to tune into: how can the reader forget they are in a magazine.
“Foodie Traveller” is very, very modern. It is nothing like the magazine I am redesigning and, in mimicking this style, may alienate it’s audience. However, I could extract a few of the compositional decisions, only deliver them a little less radically.
Finally we have “Wanderlust” and this, like a lot of the others on Behance, is very modern. It’s good, relevant points lie in it’s rubber stamp-esque icons, it’s beautiful relationships between photography and titles and it’s navigation. Many of the spreads have infographics to inform the reader of their location, not in the magazine, but in the world. It does have page numbers also but I liked this infographic idea, really exerts the idea that you are actually on this journey.

All the above points are relevant to my ‘escape’ idea but I need to adapt everything to a magazine. I previously mentioned that my function is to help my audience escape and as my audience is mostly the older generation, probably with a bit of money and looking to travel. My magazine’s form shall follow this, focusing largely on how I can relate to and best extract this audience. It will largely replicate a newspaper in appearance.

CHANGE OF PLAN!

I imagined an A3 magazine (A2 spreads), it would be so inconvenient to hold and would never be able to relax whilst reading it! Just picture the strain on your arms, this compromises the state of mind you must be in to open yourself up to experiences.

I thought then about paper stock and lighter materials to print on. I stumbled across Newsprint (the paper newspapers print on). It is light and far more convenient to hold.
I then began to remember my audience. I can imaging the people who would read this to be the kind of people who would sit in their armchair, on a Sunday morning, with their heads in their newspapers.

This finally began to make sense! Finally the form was beginning to accompany the function!
For a while I had the idea of ‘new experiences’ and ‘allowing the reader to lose themselves’ but I forget who the reader was and how best to deliver the new experiences to them.
If I give the audience something new and exciting in a way a form of which they are familiar they would be more subjectable to the experiences.

So I have decided to scrap the idea of a huge A2 Spread and began looking at newsprinting.
I found “newspaperclub.com” and they offer a 24 page newspaper for just shy of £20. Only catch, I need to have it completed by 2pm on the 7th of May to guarantee it’s arrival by the 16th,  100%. I could send it on the 9th and it might (most likely would) come before then. I am strongly aiming for 2pm on the 7th, 5 days from now. If this proves unmeetbale I do have until 2pm on the 9th, but this adds an extra element of risk.

Here you will a link to their page and it is actually rather helpful to be working to a specification. I feel it has added challenge to make this work.
I need to consider and acknowledge Colour Profiles, Image Quality, Text Size, Page & Margin Size and a lot more!

Now the challenge is meeting the deadline, abiding by printing rules and ensuring the concept is carried through strongly.
I am very happy that I now have a form that follows my function.

Initiating Feedback

I began to put the previous blog post’s feedback into action:

  • Page Size
    My new magazine size is 280 x 400 mm. On a spread, it is just shy of A2. I chose this because I want you to be able to shut yourself out of the outside world, this would help to execute my concept of ‘losing yourself’. I realised that A2 paper would do this but for sake of cost in printing (taking bleeds into consideration) rather than paying for A1 paper, if I just remove a few millimetres
     each edge, it would fit onto an A2 print.
  • How Often It’s Released
    I decided that if the pages are going to be this much larger, it would have a less regular release.
  • Grid
    My grid is below. It is much freer. I have a smaller border, this is so that I can push up to the boundaries and really make the reader feel as though they are really there and experiencing it.
    GRID
  • Removing Yourself from a Magazine
    I saw the below images in a editorial design book. They are images from Jake Tilson’s “A Tale of 12 Kitchens”. The caption says:

    “It provides a distinctive multisensory perspective on seeing and tasting food… The underlying structer of the book had to support and evocative memoir and a functional cookery book… Also Tilson’s recipe layouts are conventional, eclectic combinations of photos, fonts and ephemera surround them. His goal was to share how much fun food can be…”


    A little annoying because this is kind of what I wanted to do but, hey, I can extract from this example and do in my own way.
    I realise how much these textures form a kind of scrap/travel book and help to create a depth that sucks you into the visuals and I am going to try and recreate this idea.