For this new module we will be focusing on editorial design, my favourite subset! What I love about this genre is that it allows great creative freedom. Rules that have been relayed amongst the education of design, are now allowed to be bent and broken in the most astounding ways. Editorial design pushes the boundaries, inspiring others to an open mindset.

Such pieces become somewhat of spectacle, the layout and compositions they hold look like they could have been taken from the fine art world. I have practiced in the art of editorial design previously, and look forward to developing such skills throughout this new project.

To begin my creative journey, I thought I would gain inspiration from some of my personal favourite magazine spreads that show such an aesthetic.

  1. Unplug

Although it is a hypothetical company; I thought it displayed a real professional essence to it! Uploaded by Ryan Lau on Behance, the designers labels the magazine as ‘ The Rock Magazine’. Featuring articles on some of the world's most popular rock bands, and special issues with interviews. This would surely be a magazine I would rush to the shops to buy!

Not only is the content provided a thrilling read, but the visual communication displays is truly stunning!

As you can see it is very striking! Though the designer has explored greatly with experimental displays, the content it clear for the readers viewing. There was been many incidents I have seen with editorial design where the page has been overwhelming, with multiple bodies of text and a multitude of fonts, such things can leave the reader confused; there should be an obvious order in which the audience should perceive your work. Unplug magazine does just this, the bold fonts for titles and pictures draw the attention to where it should be lead first, making for an easy read.

I feel that such aspects really do come to save the magazine, as apart from the bleed left for main body text, there is not a particular gridding system rule throughout the magazine, individual pages are laid out in different arrangements. But again, this isn't an issue as the content displayed is done so in a direct fashion.

By far my favorite element of this magazine would be the colour pallette. Though it is very minimalistic, the muted monochrome prints against the lively yellows is a beautiful combination. It is great to see what designers can come up with when restricting themselves.

2) AnOther

AnOther is a British fashion magazine. Their issues usually feature mainstream celebrities of that particular year such as Harry Styles, David Beckham, Dakota Johnson etc. The majority of the time the spreads are heavily imagery relient, but their typographic work is one to be noted.

Quite different to the Unplug magazine, since it is such a high fashion brand their graphic design style represents this, with large imagery and minimal text. What i find impressive about their layout is that although the photography is full bleed, they don't overshadow the typography beside them, as that holds itself to the same standard- captivating in its own right.

The designers behind the magazine add small quirks to the body of text by their use of spacing. They create a sort of motion by aligning the text in different directions, this makes for an eye catching element. A different way they add interest to text is by the anglement of them (as you can see in the first image). Angeling words in this way exceeds the eccentricity of the brand.

Though the grid system and layout varies from page to page, you can see consistency. For example, imagery is always displayed on the right hand page, the most notable information is displayed in a Serif font, and the bottom left hand corner is reserved for crediting the creatives. I feel this consistency is enough, to have variation adds to the charm of the spread.

Now that I have shown some of my favourite editorial magazines, I shall show one that attempted the editorial style, but missed the mark in my opinion.

BadLand

The Badland are a print publication company who explore the art and culture from the Balkans. Though they are not as well known as brands such as ‘AnOther’ they have gained quite a following on social media boasting 11 thousand followers. They too rely heavily on the use of illustration and photography, of which I find remarkable. From a fine art perspective, I could see these spreads hung in a galleries! But unfortunately to a design standard they are not up to par.

I stated at the start that one of the great things about editorial design is that it allows you to bend and break the rules, but there are some rules that just should not be broken in order for your design to make sense. I see here that such rules have been neglected. My main problem with these pages are that they are simply too busy, there is too much going on in too little a space.

With the vast amount of information they are trying to display, I feel they would be better spacing out their work properly, or condensing their wording into bigger paragraphs.

I see no layout or gridding system rules provides, though bodies of text may be aligned together they size, font and spacing of such text just adds to the ongoing confusion.

Especially in a magazine you wont your content to be clear and coherent, unfortunately this cannot be said for these designs. When looking upon the pages, the viewer should easily be able to navigate their way through, here I feel they would struggle to see where to start.

Another element that may obstruct the viewing, are the illustrations and imagery. On the second image this is shown greatly with the drawing in the top left, the colour is so overbearing compared to that of the text beneath it that it (the text) is barely visible. The visibility of text seems to be an ongoing issue, as photos are also placed too close in proximity to the text. This makes for a very unorganised, homemade approach, which I don't believe to be their intention.

I will be sure to avoid such mistakes when continuing with my own progression of editorial design.

Second Year Graphic Design Student. Documenting My Progression