Studio Magazine - University Publication

macgirl's picture

This is the first issue of the magazine and I'm having some problems with the cover. We don't have a masthead so we can pretty much redesign the front page for every issue (it comes out once every semester).

The color can be anything, but I was thinking of a bold red or an orange. I wanted to go with a pair of contrasting fonts (one "dirty" and one "clean") to sort of draw attention to the mag's first issue. Also, another thing I definitely want is the title of the mag, be it "SM" or "Studio" to be large, so it can sort of scream out "I'm here! Look at me!".

I still feel that with all these variations there's something lacking, something I can't pinpoint. Any suggestions for the cover will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Susana.


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section 1.pdf (7.3 k)


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section 2.pdf (12.5 k)


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section 3.pdf (7.3 k)


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section 4.pdf (7.3 k)

dan's picture

The word spacing on number 1 has alot to be desired. Its too spaced out. Number 2 gave me an idea for you to explore. Since its Architechure, why not make the background a textured surface and have the word Studio cut into it, or as raised lettering. What does SM mean? Do you need to put the words that SM refer to on the cover?

macgirl's picture

When you say "the word spacing on number 1", I'm assuming you mean the words "architecture publication...". I'll look into other fonts that are "clean" but not as spaced out.

As for the texture... I started out with a lightly textured background simulating linen paper, but I didn't like how it looked. Somehow the type didn't look as crisp.

As for the raised lettering, that's an option I'm going to explore with the printer, regardless of which cover I go with.

SM stands for "studio magazine" . Right now my choices stand between the initials of the mag "SM" or the word "Studio". I'm kind of favoring the SM option because it will attract the attention of potential readers even if initially it is for the double entendre the letters SM imply. I'm banking on the curiosity of people to make them pick up the mag, and by not giving away the title immediately, as with the "STUDIO" option, I'll have people wonder what SM is. The answer to what SM stands for is on the first page once you open the mag.

Remember, it's a first ever issue... my school has never had an architecture publication before, so the pressure to make it attractive is enormous.

Thanks for your suggestions.
Susana.

marcox's picture

Susana, is the magazine square? In other words, does the red/orange field represent the edges of the magazine, or does the colored square "float" on an 8.5 x 11 page?

In any case, if you're relying on typography for impact, you need better-looking type! The large sans-serif you're using for "SM" is poorly drawn. Look at the kinks in the inner curves of the S, for example. Are these shareware/freeware fonts? You'd be wise to spring for professionally designed type if you're going to use it at monumental size.

For tips on cover design, check out the PDF titled "Design easy cover patterns" from Before & After magazine. It has useful tips and examples of simple, bold cover compositions.
http://www.bamagazine.com

macgirl's picture

Marc,

Yes, the magazine is square. Its format is 8.5" x 8.5".

When I first submitted the post, I was working on a PC. The InDesign file that I was working on came from a PC, as well as the series of PDF's that I uploaded. Now that I'm on the Mac I've downloaded the PDF's and they look dramatically different from what they are supposed to be. I'm referring to the font in all the iterations of the SM variant. If you're seeing a blocky Sans then you're not seeing the font that's supposed to be there. For some reason, Acrobat Reader is changing the font to someting else (!!!), something I haven't seen before. In any case, the real SM font looks more like the one I used for the "STUDIO" variant, kind of broken and "dirty".

On the other hand, if you're seeing a broken font in the SM iterations then everything is fine and I might be having issues with the Mac.

In all cases, the fonts used are shareware. The magazine's budget is a bit tight, so I thought it might be best to throw some ideas out there using free fonts and then see which one looks best, before I commit to an expensive font. In my very limited experience with fonts I've noticed that for every ten free fonts that look somehow similar to one another (and are of varying quality) I can find one or two quality commercial fonts that look similar to the free ones but are better. That said, do you have any suggestions for a commercial font that looks "dirty"?

I checked out the "Design Easy Cover Patterns" PDF. While it was informative, it didn't help me out much, mostly because the examples given rely on graphics as well as text to make a strong cover. I'm only (intentionally) relying on text (color and placement are both givens).

I will replace the PDF's with JPEG's when I get back to the PC, just to make sure that everyone is seeing the same thing.

Thanks for your help,
Susana.

timd's picture

I rather like the bold sans bleeding off as an idea

dan's picture

Susana, please talk to your printer before venturing further with a square format. You might be occuring a lot of paper loss. There is a reason for the size of publications and most of the time its because of the economy of paper and if you mail a square format you are heavly penalized by the post office.

As for the raised type, create it in photoshop using a layer style, you won't be able to afford embossing from a printer.

Post your revisions, but could you make them jpgs or gifs? Its easy to do in InDesign.

macgirl's picture

Daniel,

How do I make a jpeg in InDesign?

Thanks,
Susana.

sim's picture

From InDesign, export as eps file. Open this file in Photoshop, choose the dpi and save as jpg.

marcox's picture

Actually, you can export JPGs directly from InDesign. Go to File, Export, and choose JPG in the Format menu.

sim's picture

Faster way. Thanks Mark!

macgirl's picture

Apparently, I can't embed the fonts through InDesign because of licensing issues (or so InDesign says... I'm pretty sure they are both free fonts, so I don't know what's going on). This explains why they didn't show up correctly on the PDF file.

I went into Fireworks and created a gif using the two original fonts. This is what the original idea was supposed to be.

I want to thank all of you for helping me out on this. It's my first issue so I'll need all the help I can get.

Susana. OrangeRed

macgirl's picture

Tim,

You said:

"and the outlining hasn't really worked and is unnecessary."

I'm sorry, but what do you mean by outlining? I'm not sure I know what this means.

Thanks,
Susana.

sim's picture

The last one you've are much better. I prefer the black type over the yellow color.

The texture you used suited well to the SM letters even though at my point of view is to much used by lots of graphic designer. I would suggest to avoid to center the SM letters. May be move it a little to the right side.

Finally, what do you think about using something in background (architecture draft, texture). Only suggestions.

Good work!

timd's picture

On the pdfs from your first post the subtitle appeared to have a grey stroke applied to the black type, this maybe was due to the pdf problems you were having. The jpegs show your idea clearly, but as I said earlier if you print this the limitation of the font will be revealed, while you wouldn't pick this up at a small size, for example the v1.0 looks good but the larger looks faked.
This tutorial (scroll down) may help you achieve a better appearance.
http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/83/10551.html
or this one
http://www.typophile.com/cgibin/board-profile.pl?action=rate&topic=4100&page=21644&post=39893
Your design might also work well if you make the type colour as a shade of your background though that might not shout as you want.
Tim

dan's picture

The Architecture line is better. Did you explore setting it in Sentence Case? Also did you try a contrasting typeface. Leave the Architectural look to the SM vol 1 and make the Architecture line something more warm (more human), less structured. An example might be using Daliance Italic from Emigre.

Have you contacted your printer about the square format yet? Its an issue you need to resolve right away, before you go to far into the design.

macgirl's picture

AndrZ,
You said:
"I prefer the black type over the yellow color."

Me too. :-) Red is my favorite color, but I'm terribly partial to the orange right now.

You also suggested using a texture or a background. I'll probably explore those possibilities for the next issue, but for the first one I wanted to go as simple as possible, maybe to give the mag some sort of dignity (I don't know how much "dignity" a student publication about architecture can have, but I guess I'm aiming at that). For the next issue I'll try a more complex cover (if only in terms of background).

Tim,

You said:
"[...]if you print this the limitation of the font will be revealed[...]"

I agree. I didn't quite notice that until you mentioned it, but I agree. One way I think this problem might be addressed is by maybe playing with the fonts in Fireworks (maybe blurring it a bit, or playing with different shades of orange for a "glow". I'll fiddle with the image file and post the results when I'm done.

About the tutorials.... thanks for the info. Great tips there. I even made a sticky out of the second post with all those tips/tricks. They will surely come in handy when I get deep into layout mode.

Daniel,

The "Architecture Publication..." line is ALL CAPS, in a font called ADMUI3SM (I have no clue where I got this font). I usually tend to favor non-italics over italics, but I'm willing to try anything and see what sticks. I do see your point about the lack of "human-ness" of the cover.

About the square format... I sent the printer a request for a price quote and I specified the size of the mag. I have a price quote from a different printer that was made about 8 months ago and they didn't seem too concerned about the size (which has always been 8.5" x 8.5"), so I'm not expecting this one to be concerned either.

In any case, the mag will only be 40 pages long, perfect bound, and we're only doing a run of 500. The way I see it is this: conceptually we would be paying for a publication that is 8.5" x 11" (which would be an 11" x 17" spread folded in half, printed on both sides to make up four pages) but we are requesting that the printer chops off 2.5" in height for every 11" x 17" sheet of paper.

I'm not sure how they work at printing facilities, but I don't think the mag would be inherently more expensive at 8.5" x 8.5" than it would be at 8.5" x 11". Worst case scenario is that they will want to charge us for the chopping/trimming, which doesn't sound too unreasonable, I guess.

I'm still waiting for the second printer to get back to me with the quote. After I see how much they want to charge, I'll see if it's worth me trying to negotiate a better deal or if it's just best to go with the first printer I contacted.

Also, we're distributing the mag in school so mailing is not our primary concern. I'm sure at some point we will have to mail some issues out to someone somewhere, but when that happens I think sticking the mag in an 8.5" x 11" compliant packaging shouldn't be a problem either. :-)

I'll post the revisions tomorrow. Thanks all for the info and the critique. Greatly appreciated.

Susana.

timd's picture

Susana,
If you were printing from large wood type (the kind of effect you have), the texture of the distressing wouldn't expand as the type grew larger but remain at the same size as the smaller type, it will be a challenge to apply the texture in a convincing style but ultimately worthwhile.
Depending on your printer they would probably print your magazine spreads on larger format paper 2 or 4 spreads per sheet, I am not certain about US printers but in Britain it would be one of the SRA formats http://thesaurus.maths.org/mmkb/entry.html;jsessionid=36BDF0DEB1BEA59B680ED4FA2C692810?action=entryByConcept&id=2740&langcode=en, but as you say if you have a quote that is acceptable the mechanics shouldn't concern you too much.
For some reason that link won't appear properly so you will have to cut and paste it, if you want.
Tim

dan's picture

Susana, your cover is a full bleed that means its not printing 8.5 x 8.5 its really printing (if you don't bleed the back cover) 8.625 x 8.75, you have to have safety with a full bleed trim. If you have the budget then its not a problem. All I was suggesting is to make sure first, then design against the budget. There is a reason you don't see alot of square publications and that is because of paper loss. You aren't printing many so its probably not an issue.

macgirl's picture

Revisions...

Not much has changed since last time. I looked around for a different font for the SM and this was the best one I could find. There are many dirty fonts out there, but it's hard to find an uppercase S and an uppercase M that look good together.

Let me know what you guys think.

Thanks,
Susana.

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timd's picture

http://dafont.com/en/theme.php?cat=109
there are some distressed fonts here, but I don't believe any will help because they all have the same limitations. I would start with a "proper" font like Helvetica Condensed or Impact and then distress them so that you will be working at the scale you intend to use it. If you print out a sheet of paper with black toner on it and attack it with a scalpel, try various solvents, scrunch it up and flatten it out, drag it on the floor, scan it to a high resolution and use the outlines of the font to make a mask. I preferred the subtitle in the previous versions, I don't think the more mannered ones work well with your bold concept. The stencil is too military for my taste, but again you could make a stencil spray it and scan the result, as a rule of thumb, if you make your texture or stencil at the size you will finally use it, you will need to scan it at at least 300dpi (the higher the better).
Tim

dan's picture

Susana, if you have it in your budget look into Mr. Retro's Machine Washing to create the distressed look. Here is how it works, (in Photoshop) you take any type you like and it creates a layer mask with the distressing on the mask, the type isn't actually harmed. You might create that effect yourself, and then you could play with different typefaces.

aluminum's picture

If you are looking for an oragnic distressed looked to things, you need to loose the digital type. When 'grunge' type is blown up at that size, the digitial artifacts just scream at you.

If you can find a letterpress person in town, have them print out some wood type for you. If not, print out some clean type on a lazer printer. Then crumple the paper, run it through the wash, scratch it up, photocopy it a few times, etc.

That said, I'm not quite sure how the grunge type relates to architecture. Can you expand on that a bit? Why did you go with this typeface?

macgirl's picture

Daniel,

The Machine Wash thing is just great. The bad thing is that it works with Photoshop and I have more experience with Fireworks, but I'll buy it and see what happens. Maybe I'll become a Photoshop expert in no time. :-)

darrel,

The reason why I wanted to go with that kind of dirty look is because of the name of the mag. Architecture studios tend to be dirty, messy, scratched up, etc. There;s graffiti on the walls and oil paint on the floor, mice walking around, a ketchup stain from 1982 and a trash can with more trash around it than inside it. This dirtiness provides the backdrop against which we design our "clean" models and drawings for presentation. The mag is another studio, one that looks very dirty and messy but that produces clean, beautiful drawings/models.

Another round of postings will happen soon.

Thanks,
Susana.

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