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Coast & Country Magazine

Creating a magazine has always been an ambition of mine since I first shifted my career from being a technical illustrator into the graphic design world.

 

Creating a magazine has always been an ambition of mine…

Ever since I first shifted my career from being a technical illustrator into the graphic design world. I finally achieved that ambition in 2009 when the Cork & County Advertiser were looking for a freelance graphic designer to create an upmarket magazine that reflected the interests and contemporary lifestyles of those living in coastal and country areas. The concept was to start off small and distribute the magazine freely, organically building up the advertising clientele, before going national and adding a cover charge.

I wanted the magazine to have an instant “wow” factor impact and set about creating the right look and feel for such a magazine, drawing influences from established lifestyle publications whilst adding my own style, keeping it modern and simple.

PLEASE NOTE: As of March 2010, Coast & Country Magazine ceased to be, with the client owing me considerable amounts of money in unpaid design fees. I would strongly advise any graphic or website designer to keep well clear of this particular client.

For that to work, several things had to be considered, the masthead needed to reflect the style of content and also to instantly appeal to the target market conveying the feel of an established and refined product. The main cover photography also had to be instantly appealing, my image choice would have to have that “pick me up and take me home to read” factor. Then the support headlines would have to be clear and confident, yet not detract from the overall clean feel, I did not want any visual noise on the cover so they are kept discrete.

Then there was the challenge of creating a design grid that could accommodate both stylish layouts and the high volume of advertising that was to fund the project. I think I managed to find an appropriate solution for that. With a definite structure behind your pages, you are able to achieve attractive layouts quickly, the result being that the magazine soon takes shape with a distinct style of balance and proportion that makes for a more pleasing reading experience.

Considerable time, care and consideration should be taken when choosing typefaces for your design projects. This is especially the case when designing a magazine template, where you have to define a distinctive style that has to last over a lengthy period of time.

Choosing the right fonts and formatting is also imperative to create the style you want to achieve and that all round good read. For the first few issues I’m using a combination of the Univers and Caecilia font families. Keeping font usage to a minimum helps to establish that look set out in the initial brief… upmarket and contemporary. To me, there’s nothing worse than reading a publication that has different fonts for each article and no layout grid being adhered to… it’s a visual mess… unless, of course, it’s a Raygun style magazine where the whole raison d’être is to graphically experiment :))

 

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