Project 2 – Print Magazine


The word “magazine” is derived from the Arabic word makhazin, or “storehouse,” and was generally meant to mean a collection of related material all bundled together in one package. In the tablet and social media age, the idea of a “magazine” is returning to its storehouse roots. Functionally, a magazine still represents the idea of a bunch of thematically-related stuff curated together as one package — but just about everything else is up for grabs. Great magazines also contain a magical spark, and that’s where definitions get squishy. If a magazine is something more than just a collection of stuff, then what is that other stuff?

A Magazine is a Wunderkammer

In case you’re not up to speed on renaissance German, it’s also known as a Cabinet of Curiosities; a room or display case with interesting, unusual and occasionally eccentric objects, usually collected by one person and displayed as both a conversation piece and an expression of its owner’s wide-ranging and eclectic interests, tastes and travels. They would be full of wondrous things, from native artifacts to stuffed animals, preserved plants to mineral marvels. The visitor is treated to a fascinating, mind-expanding, unique set of wonders.

A Magazine is a Trip

It should take you on a journey to somewhere else, show you the sights, give you a relaxing break or an exhilarating adventure and leave you feeling invigorated, refreshed and ready to re-enter your normal reality. It’s a trip to somewhere where you feel at home, but it has enough strangeness to be intriguing and different. And you experience things in a magazine you’d never dream of doing at home. Want to play in that rock band, drive that sports car, walk that red carpet wearing that dress and those shoes? Sure – just pick up that magazine. It’s your ticket to a place where you can do all those things.

A Magazine is a Skeleton

In its essence, a magazine can just be a structure from which you hang various items of interest. Hence the ‘magazine format’ TV show. Like a Christmas tree, you start with a basic structure then dangle attractive and shiny things off it to catch the reader’s attention and excite their interest.

A Magazine is Behind the Sofa

Or under the stairs. Or in a tree house. Or anywhere that’s a space of your own, shut out from distractions and annoyances, enclosed and secure. Any regular reader comes to appreciate their magazine as a refuge where they know the subject matter, understand the tone, value the opinions and appreciate the values. It’s their place and they can escape to it whenever they like.

A Magazine is a Guide

The guide who knows all the tricks, has a deep knowledge of the area and can sometimes steer you out of trouble. A trusted companion and a faithful friend, your magazine should be there to explain and navigate, full of sage advice and inarguable wisdom.


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Design a Front Cover, a Table of Contents and a four page Feature Spread for a new magazine. Use a conventional magazine size (8.5 inches x 11 inches). You may use greeking for your body copy and captions only. Headlines, summary decks, pull quotes, anything display size (larger than 12 points) needs to be real text, not greeked. Be sure to view the Design Tips for a Great Magazine handout.

Requirements for Cover
Logo / Nameplate
Tag Line
Title / Headline
Cover Art
Cover Blurbs
Price Information
Bar Code

Requirements for Table of Contents
Mini Nameplate
Volume #
Issue #
Contents List Features (Each item should include: title, caption, page #)
Cover Art Credit Line
Gutters (consistent width)
Margins (consistent width)
Use of a Grid

Requirements for Feature Articles
Display Head / Title / Headline
Subtitle / Subhead / Deck
Folio (With Publication Title, Date and Page #)
Caption / Cutline
Image Credit
Pull Quote
Text (In Columns)
Author Byline

This project affords the student the following opportunities:

(1) to consider how design conveys meaning;
(2) to employ design principles as tools of persuasion and navigation;
(3) to select appropriate typefaces, fonts, styles, images, and image processes for use;
(4) to demonstrate an appropriate utilization of space;
(5) to create effective image and text combinations;
(6) to create a grid that: a) can be employed repeatedly; b) enables the designer to provide visual continuity from page to page; and: c) allows for design flexibility;
(7) to represent (by means of visual design) issues or ideas;
(8) to explore and expand technical and aesthetic abilities;
(9) to produce representative materials for presentation;
(10) to practice meeting deadlines.

You will be evaluated according to:

(1) selection/use of type and image;
(2) use of a page grid;
(3) use of design elements;
(4) overall creative ability;
(5) effectiveness in attracting and maintaining attention;
(6) readability and legibility of both text and images;
(7) craft and technique
(8) required items (nameplate, cover art, etc)

Note: You could also lose points for poor design skills, for typographic, spelling, grammar, and/or spacing errors, for not following instructions, and particularly, for not meeting deadlines

TOTAL: 100 points

Once you’re satisfied with your layout and design, export the finished page into a PDF document. Make sure the “Spreads” box is checked when you export your project to PDF. The file name should be LastName_Magazine.pdf

Then submit the file through the Assignments tab on TRACS.