Well I took a stab at creating a magazine using some of the old work I've created over the last year, and it doesn't look horrible (though it's a bit rough around the edges!). As someone with an interest in the print side of journalism, it was really a fun task creating this and though it's not long enough to be printed as a hard-copy, it's still a neat little project to have stored on my computer somewhere.
To be completely honest at first I had every intention of creating a magazine full of my colleague's and friend's work and printing it off to sell and give to family members, but I never realized how difficult and time-consuming creating something like this would be. No wonder magazines have teams full of people working on this sort of thing alone, not just one person working on it during his evenings and weekends. That's the art of the #SideHustle, believing in something enough to even think about pursuing it. It's a growing concept, devoting some of your time to something that's fun, that you're interested in and that could be profitable (eventually).
I tried to cover a variety of issues in this publication, but stick with the same sort of categories I touch on here, such as crime, cities and transit, as well as politics and money. It's quite a mix of different stores that I had a lot of fun writing, designing and planning, so please leave me some feedback in the comment section below and if you feel so inclined share it with a friend or two.
So, without further delay, here it is: my first — and probably final, in the near future at least — print publication, available exclusively online.
There were several different design decisions I had to make during the process of creating this publication, and here's my thinking behind it:
Create a common theme. Even though there's different colours and sections throughout, I tried to keep the pages similar, including the use of an identity bar at the top ("Low and High + category name"), and included a common colour scheme for each distinct section of the magazine. This helps the reader understand where they are, as well as allows for consistent branding.
Keep it simple. I didn't want to add too many visuals to any single page and risk making it too confusing or complicated to follow. There's usually only one, maybe two images per page and when there's none, I tried to play around with colour blocks to make it a little bit more interesting. Sticking to the same few fonts was simple enough to do, but the amount could be narrowed down to three or four key fonts that work for everything.
Let the visuals speak. There's lots of visuals in here, including a few charts and graphs. The purpose of the charts wasn't to show actual data, which would be quite hard on paper, but to make a point. A little sentence to explain the meaning behind the chart, instead of just plopping it down and forgetting it can go a long way for the reader. Images, on the other hand, shouldn't necessarily need a caption to be understood as to why they're included.
Make it interactive. If there's one thing that people like, it's a game, quiz, or just something to follow along with. That's where the flow chart came in, providing a meaningful addition to the story while also being a little bit fun and silly.
Design for every reader. Something I overlooked throughout the design process was that when designing, you need to design with every reader in mind (digital/print, young/old, etc). There's a lot of decisions that need to be made with the audience in mind, like what fonts to use so that everybody can read them and the colour and size of the text.