Friday, 21 November 2014


Today Alec Dudson, editor of reputable publication; 'Intern Magazine' came into university to give a short talk about his journey through life, the creation of his publication and set us an editorial based brief. As a designer with a focus on editorial design, both the talk and subsequent brief were interesting and have relevance to my design practice. Moreover, both the publications discussed, 'Boat' and 'Intern' are two publications I have previously reviewed and appreciated, so it was really interesting to learn about the process of their creation.

Notes taken during Alec's talk are displayed below;


After the talk Alec introduced students to the brief which tasked us with; 

  • Creating a concept for an independent magazine. 
  • Developing a funding campaign. 
  • Designing a masthead. 
  • Create a cover. 
To complete the brief we were split into small groups of around six people as there was quite a large workload and only two hours to complete and present our response. Alongside the information communicated during the talk Alec gave us a sheet with a list of independent magazines we could use for inspiration. Moreover, on the opposite side of the sheet was a list of areas our response needs to consider to successfully complete the brief. 

After discussing the specifics of the brief my group made use of the little time we had and progressed with our response by defining themes the publication could focus on. As there are so many independent magazines already in circulation we wanted our response to focus on a subject that hadn't been covered before, setting us apart from the crowd and allowing us to create something outside of the box. 

  • Strange/new music instruments - Documentary style publication reviewing strange and new musical instruments.
  • Campervans - Stories documenting lives of people living on the road.
  • Migrants - Documentary style publication reviewing the lives of migrant workers.
  • Travelling shoes - Photography based publication documenting the different shoes travellers wear and the journeys that have been on.
  • Off The Grid - Documentary style publication reviewing the lives of people and communities living off the grid and outside of mainstream society.  

Of the five favourite ideas we chose to progress forward with 'Off The Grid', a decision which was chosen for a range of reasons 
  • Firstly, people and communities that live off the gird are relatively undocumented leaving a gap in the market and a reason for the publication to exist.
  • As previously mentioned, the culture is undocumented and thus knowledge on the culture is lacking, this helps to create an interest in the subject which intrigues people to want to know more. 
  • The publication could take a gonzo documentary style approach to articles in which journalists would immerse themselves in the culture and get to know their subjects before writing the story and taking images. 
  • The publication could also include information on how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. 

After choosing a subject the group progressed by defining the specifics of our publication such as the name, approach and audience. Moreover, after defining these initial specific details we decided to split the workload so that we could quickly progress with the brief and create a cohesive, engaging campaign idea in time for the deadline. It was my job to develop a masthead. 

The images below document work developed by other group members;


Members of the primary audience are people who have an appreciation for the earth, an interest in sustainability and a taste for adventure. They spend their days growing their own produce or are looking for ways that they can implement aspects of a sustainable lifestyle. Although members of the audience do not actually live off the grid, like the people featured in the magazine, they are interested in the culture and the associated lifestyle. Some of their characteristics and interests are listed below; 
  • Support their local organic markets.
  • Spiritual.
  • Independent.
  • Holistic.
  • DIY.
  • Organic.
  • Positive. 


As part of the brief we were also asked to create a campaign for the publication allowing to to be crowd funded and free from corporate involvement. Our strategy was based around creating a kickstarter campaign in which a video will be featured illustrating the culture our publication will document. 


The group was split to help complete tasks in time for the deadline, it was my job to develop a masthead for the magazine. To ensure that the aesthetics had relevance to the content featured within the publication I decided to create the masthead by hand, reflecting the DIY ethos associated with off the grid communities. 


After creating a selection of logos I presented my favourites to the group so that we could make a collective decision on the design that will be developed digitally. Of the various designs produced the triangular shaped logo located in the bottom left hand side of the sheet was defined as the final design. 

The concept for the logo was based around offsetting the typography and breaking the rules commonly associated with neat, gridded typography. 


After selecting the logo the design was developed digitally in Adobe Illustrator. 

To make the design look more hand rendered a grunge style texture was downloaded from the internet and applied to the type. 

Finally, after finalising the masthead design I sent it to Vicky so that she could add it to our front cover image. During the presentations the image of the cover was displayed to help visually communicate how our magazine would look. 


To conclude the session, I felt that the brief was engaging as developing a relevant publication concept within the time frame available was challenging and took good team organisational skills. I felt that my group work efficiently together, as we discussed important matters as a group and divided the more simple tasks among individuals to ensure that all tasks were completed in time. Moreover, by combining our enthusiasm and interests during the initial stages of the project were were able to create a strong concept that has serious scope for development.

Overall, I found the session relevant, engaging and enjoyable, it was challenging to complete to the desired level and rewarding to receive positive feedback on our concept. The session was useful as it helped to develop key skills such as concept creation and development, time management and group organisation skills.

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