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OK guys, as I mentioned in the Magazine Design discussion (see General), I started working on a project for a new magazine that I hope to get published, with the help of a few friends and a huge dose of luck, here in Italy (I'm from Milan).
It will be a gay lifestyle magazine. It will focus primarily on Italy, but with an international feel (btw, did you get the Flaunt Italian issue? Nice. Hrant ,you'll probably like the lavish Monica Bellucci centre article!). The text will be in Italian.
After doing a lot of research, two certainties:
1) ALL gay magazines look like CRAP (So much for the myth that most gay men have good taste!)
Seriously, I coudn't find a single one decently designed. Attitude (UK), Out (US), Zero (Spain), Tetu (France) are the best ones, but they are all very average stuff.
2) Italian gay magazines are even MORE CRAP. The biggest one, Babilonia, is a horrid mess (both in terms of design and content). Honestly, guys, even if I assume most of you wouldn't be interested, I'll spare you the JPGs, because of its utter ugliness (I know the guy who does it, he's a nice guy, but he's NOT a designer and it shows). All other Italian gay magazines are free, and, essentially, fanzines.
That said, here's where I'd like some opinions from you, if you can bother:
1) I'd like it to be a mainstream title, but with some class (this magazine won't be free). I'm looking at the currently best designed men magazines around for ideas. I like Details and the US Esquire (I agree with you Tiffany on this one, if you're reading). Most of all, I like the colors of these two, which are pretty similar.
2) The magazine will be 230 x 287 mm (same as Colors Magazine), printed on uncoated paper. I'd like it to be not too busy, with more generous white space than the two titles I mentioned before.
3) Here's the deal for typefaces:
one serif body text for main articles;
one sans for departments (and possibly headlines);
maybe an additional headline face.
You think two faces, with a versatile sans, should be enough?
SANS: I really, REALLY like the new DTL, Prokyon. Not availabe yet, unfortunately, and I fear outrageously expensive, like all DTFs. Have a look at its PDF (http://www.dutchtypelibrary.nl/Nieuws.html)
SERIF: guys, you input here is mostly needed!
My favorite serif EVER is still FB Proforma, but I'm only slightly concerned that the Book weight is a little too light and its Medium a little too dark (although it is beautifully used in Eye magazine) at 9,5/12, which is what I used to build the grid.
I also happen to like a lot the Baskervilles and their revivals. I was never too fond of Licko's Mrs. Eaves; the new FF Atma (by Alan Green) is prettier, but I'm still not convinced. [Mid Caps? Quarter Caps? Hmmmmpf.])
I recently saw the face used as main text in the Typography 22 Type Directors Club Annual and immediately fell in love with it: Letraset/Fontek Eplica, by Yvonne Diedrich. It looks beautiful at small sizes and it has a very distinctive structure. I don't really care about the fancy ligatures (similar to Mrs. Eaves), but I think its "bilateral serif construction" is truly interesting.
What do you guys think of it (http://www.letraset.com/LetrasetUK/Templates/Letraset/mainscreen.asp)?
HEADLINES: If I decide to add a headline only face, I like the new HTF Gotham by Frere-Jones (http://www.typography.com/catalog/gotham/index.html), although I still love good old HTF Knockout.
So what do you think of this possible combination?
Serif Text: Eplica or Proforma;
Sans text (and possibly some headlines for departments): Prokyon (although I'm still testing it, there's only a PDF!);
3) Headlines only: Gotham (maybe Knockout instead?).
Do you think it may work? Other suggestions? Opinions? Your help will be really much appreciated.
Thanks, and please excuse me for this very long posting.
Ciao a tutti.