Quarterly architectural digest with a focus on urban planning and sustainability.
As part of our Editorial 2 class at Humber College, we were tasked with creating a complete commercial magazine with a clear topic, theme, production-level advertisements, and a variety of editorial content. Throughout the project I explored different typographic, layout, and photographic styles to bring my vision to life.
What’s in a Name?
Although the topic of the magazine was completely up to the students, a clear differentiator was needed in order to survive in the difficult market of print editorial. Whether that be through editorial content or design, we were developing this magazine as if it were a real product to survive in “the wild”. Therefore, a significant amount of research was needed in the proposal stage in order to address these concerns.
Based off my research, the editorial strategy was created off the following statement: “I wish to create a magazine that is focused on highly curated articles. Not necessarily providing you the most up-to-date content, but rather, content that challenges your thinking as an architect or appreciator of architecture. While others skim the surface, we go deep.”
With this as a guide, I came up with several editorial content ideas that are lacking in the current market of competitors.
As part of the research stage, I purchased several architecture magazines and carefully analyzed their layout, photography, and type treatments in order to pick out what I liked, and what I thought could be improved upon with the design of my magazine. I then created several mood boards of imagery, colour, and typography to provide a visual reference of the look I was going for.
Following some of my strategic goals, I decided upon an oversized dimension for my magazine, and started to experiment with different margin and column sizes. These would go through several iterations as I tried to nail heading, deck, and body copy typefaces and sizes. Some versions included minute changes to try and achieve the exact look and feel that I had envisioned. I also performed several size-as reading tests and comparisons to ensure body copy had an appropriate size to leading ratio.
Sketches & Early Layout
As with every project, my design process starts with loose sketches. At this stage I am only trying to get several general ideas of how the page might flow. Spending too long in the sketching stage does not personally benefit me, and I’d rather work out the finer details on the computer.
Once sketches are complete, I block in elements on InDesign using dummy text and rectangles to get a sense of spatial relationship with my elements. Depending on the article, I often come up with two to five different versions of the page which was then printed at full size and reviewed further. Upon feedback from my teacher, changes would be made, final copy would be introduced, and a final design would be produced from the selection, or culmination of my variations. While there were exceptions, this process was repeated for each article.
Although the same amount of effort went into each page, there will always be favourites. Here are some selected spreads from the magazine which I feel best capture the vision I had upon conception.
While the brief required for our magazine to have at least four ads, we were instructed to take these offline, as the process of creating your own would be too time consuming and would take away from the main objective of the project. However, because of the oversized nature of my magazine, and to get the exact feel I was looking for, I decided to recreate each ad in my magazine based off real ads that I saw in other publications. I flipped through ten similar magazines that I owned and highlighted those which I thought would fit well with my magazine and readership interests. Once I chose the final ads, I sourced the image used online, identified the typeface, point size, and column width used, acquired vector logos, measured the margins, and then re-laid out everything to spec in InDesign. While this was a laborious process, I believe it greatly benefitted the final version of the magazine.
While most of my articles were sourced from other publications (credit provided), I also got the opportunity to display my copywriting skills and wrote several articles throughout the publication. You can find my writing in the Letter From The Editor (Page 8), Architecture as a Catalyst for Change (Page 12), and School in Review: University of Toronto (Page 56).
Although time limited me from exploring my photographic skills further, I was able to capture shots for the School in Review: University of Toronto article. Having complete control over the editorial, design, and photography for a single article allowed me to consider the design and flow holistically. Something that deeply benefitted the end product.