Every year of school comes with new lessons to learn. As a graphic design student, I am not only learning new things from project to project, but I am learning what it looks like to be a graphic designer. This means learning to juggle multiple projects covering many different subjects. Within this semester, my designs have ranged from t-shirts to logos to flyers to, now, magazine design. The challenge is to produce excellent ideas and equally being able to execute excellent designs.

A new week means a new project! In a society bombarded with digital media, from websites to social networks to e-books, the art of print has lost its recognition. But some how magazines have been able to break this barrier. Despite the evolving media forms, nothing has been able to replace magazines. The thought and craft behind the design of magazines is often overlooked. In my Graphic Design for Professional Practices studio, we are, as your probably guessed, designing magazines. The name of my magazine is “Coffee Cult”, a magazine that focuses on the international impact of coffee, with my first edition focuses on the country of Ethiopia and their rich culture surrounding coffee.

In every project, we are encouraged to research excellent examples. So for this project, I looked at magazines such as Magnolia Farms and Frankie for inspiration. What I recognized as being successful in both magazines was their simplistic design tactic. The elements incorporated are very intentions, allowing elements such as text and imagery to have the spotlight. To the common viewer, typography is often read without a single acknowledgement of the time and effort behind the detailed layout. Sadly, typography is often noticed only when the typography is very unsuccessful. During my time studying graphic design, I have gained the most knowledge of typography, beyond any other element of design. In a previous class, I had a project that was called “text-heavy” design. During this project, I learned the elements that go into a successful spread. First, through the layout, you are able to communicate to your viewer. For example, leaving minimal white space around you text versus breathing room around your text could communicate different messages. Text layout is very detail oriented. Alignment, kerning, and text size are a few of the elements.

Here is an example of a spread from Coffee Cult, a spread inspired by the rich coffee culture in Ethiopia and the impact it has on our local coffee culture.

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