As we come to a close to the end of another trimester at SAE Perth, another project down. This means I have gained more knowledge and experience into the world of graphic design. This trimester we created a 50-page magazine. For myself, I decided to make a snowboard magazine. Originally this felt like it was the best option as I had fair knowledge on the subject and felt it would have been an easy project to complete. For me this was the hardest project I’ve done so far, from making one thing for a project to making every side of the project from brainstorming, researching, production, designing, illustrator, marketing and completion. It can be hard but the end result is something I’m proud to say is mine.
For this blog, I will be discussing something of the things I learned over the last 13 weeks and some of the areas I could improve on.
To start off with I felt that working with layouts would have been something easy to do at the start and focused too much on the visual aspects of illustrations and the way image appeared. It wasn’t until the end that I started to come to terms that in fact the layout is just as and maybe even more important than how good my designs look. This was something that I had to come to terms with. If you go through and see my previous projects you can see that I am big bold and vibrant designer. While in some cases it is good for the design to stand out, I had to re teach myself visual hierarchy and start making the information on the page just as important as the designs themselves. As seen in the images below, there is an article I worked on for the magazine and how much it changed over the weeks. You can see how I went for my bold approach which took up two pages with my illustration and colors dominating the page, to continuous changes happening every week. The bottom right of the image you can see where I finally ended up with less color but enough to make it pop, and the illustration being there to keep the page fun, but not enough to take away the information. If you notice between the last two bottom images, you can see that I couldn’t exactly keep away from making things over sized, this was the reason for I couldn’t have the important images too small as this is still image dominate magazine. With this example as you can tell it’s only one look of one page from one of seven articles in the magazine, this just shows how much work goes into something when you’re trying to hone in on your skills and still trying to be the same kind of designer whilst bettering yourself.
While I stated earlier this was one of the hardest projects I have done to date, it wasn’t all bad times. This trimester I learned a lot of new techniques and homed in on skills I already had to better myself. Currently sitting in a place where I can confidently go between, Photoshop to illustrator to InDesign confidently enough to produce a product good enough for any brand. Utilizing these elements such as Actions in Photoshop and applying vector graphics through smart layers, and adding certain types of photo manipulations were some of my favorite things I have achieved over the past trimester. Some of my favorite pages that came from these elements are seen below here. From cover pages, introductions, and selling products in a magazine, all coming together to seem unified in the same magazine. To achieve this unity, I went through a process which made myself look like a little crazy when I had visitors. I had printed all of my articles when they were completed and then blue tacked to my apartment walls. Doing this helped me see the whole magazine and determine where things needed to be changed and what needed to be added. While this process can be time consuming I highly recommend it to other designers to help with keeping the idea consistent and together. You can see this process located below.
Like any project, there’s always an issue with time management. This trimester for the first time I had made a personal ghant chart and was up to date with it until week 7. This was because of unforeseen circumstances such as being unwell and other engagements whether it be outside of school or other projects in CIU. This was hard to overcome when getting to the last few weeks of the project and having to complete the magazine in time for printing. How I overcame this was by putting more hours into the project than originally planned to get it done just in time. Coming up to the end I was fearful that everything wasn’t going to be completed such as the digital magazine and a front and back cover of issue 2. While it was a sprint to the finish line I’m happy that everything was complete and now get to relax and prepare myself for the showcase.
With the digital magazine, this seemed like a daunting experience leading up to it. The concept of making one seemed like it was going to take another 13 weeks but in reality, with the tutorials off Lynda.com and YouTube, it was achieved in a day and something that I can happily announce that I can do it. If you head over to the projects page of this website you can experience my digital magazine and digital style guide. Creating bookmarks, buttons and adding videos created a dynamic experience for the viewer, more so than just picking up a magazine. This is where I believe the future of magazines are, by keeping the reader occupied on more than just the article itself and actually letting them view videos on the subject matter. With the digital magazine, there is areas I would like to improve with such as; creating animations in it, adding some music playlists and making a completely fluid movement throughout by linking articles with each other instead having to go back to the contents constantly.
Now that’s it, I’m finished, the magazine is handed in and I would like to suggest some things about it that I would improve myself for the next project. An area that made me struggle a lot during this process was me rushing the research section of the project. While I just found random articles to go with the magazine, I should have read the articles more thoroughly and collected them all at the same time. With the images, I found a handful at the start and then collected images as I needed them, so some more thought in that area won’t go a miss.
Setting up a document is also area that I can improve on also, at the start of this project I just went with what InDesign suggested for myself, ultimately half way through the project I was changing bleeds, margins and columns to make the pages better for printing.
While there’s always things to improve on and change up, I’m happy with the project I have submitted. While it can seem a bit crazy, I want my time at SAE to be crazy. In the future, I might not get this chance to express myself in such projects, that’s why in 50 –pages I never let down the different bold design styles. If this was a bigger magazine maybe I would have left more area for people to breathe a little bit. For now, I’m here to push myself and show I can be bold and creative, I hope you enjoyed this self-reflection, if not I hope you enjoy my magazine.