I got to layout/design the upcoming 24-page City Hall Matters, an on-off LGU magazine. I was given few days to finish the load but articles and stories keep changing and came late (not to mention how difficult sometime to fit text and photos into a given page with specific requirement) even with hand-drawn layout. Need to stall an application dev (in MSAccess) currently stuck with as it require a roll-out come 7 days. Few days zapped but I wasn’t satisfied with images on hand for a cover design instead I took one image over the web as sample to impart how I perceive as a good cover (a picture of confident kid/s ready for first day school). I presented the final draft but minutes later my frustration rises, he wanted a cover with content and will jump (carry over) to pages — AHHHH! All along he wanted a NEWSLETTER/TABLOID concept … AGGHH! Likewise mentioned that my cover was too TIME (talking about irony – the magazine was my inspiration).

David Merrill, a former TIME art director says that … [on cover design] “it’s the most important page of the magazine…A cover is ad for that magazine – it provides its personality.” I did what I believe is the most important in designing covers … keep researching and surround myself with some of the best designed cover (D&G, Newsweek, The Economist, National Geographic and Time) … and try copying what a professional (designer) would do.

To read the magazine – my design version here . You may comment too!

  1. auggie said:

    That’s the problem with working with an editor/editorial staff, who lacks a working knowledge/skills on GRAPHIC DESIGN. It usually spells trouble for you, but you have to make sunod the whims of the editor because he is on he higher totem pole than you. Maybe you could invite me to give some talk on the basics of layout/graphic design to your staff ? but it will take some time pa, next year pa ako ma- retire diyan sa Naga. waddaya say ?

  2. That is great Auggie! The city news team are from different offices mostly content developers/editors/newsmen (local newspaper). Never had training nor formal education in layout+ graphic my novice skill most of it self-taught, research, personal expression and appetite for good design.

  3. auggie said:

    Actually, that’s good. Good taste in whatever endeavor is acquired through time, diligence, study, exposure , and getting yourself surrounded with people of more or less the same tastes. Dakul akong mga references na i-uuli diyan sa Naga, magabatun, mahal ang freight costs. Any suggestions ? you are free to borrow my reference materials when I’m finally there….

  4. auggie said:

    BTW, I actually like your cover design. It has a certain cachet, you seldom find in provincial publications. Bakung BADUY ang design, and extremely easy on the eyes. Show this comment to your editor.

  5. But that is not my editor wanted, I need to follow his big idea. The impression he got was that the cover was TIME xerox copy and some issue on IPR. I decided to make 3 cover including his (it just reminded of my elementary days – The Junior Citizen) but I am quite sure what’ll be the unanimous choice. Thanks anyway.

  6. auggie said:

    Could you post what your editor wanted, just curious…thanks.

  7. auggie said:

    They are all good/adequate actually. I think what you’ve got there was a failure to communicate. The editor wants a newsletter/tabloid look, and wants to economize on the pages. You thought it was a magazine format, and decided to do a magazine cover regardless of number of pages. Just save those magazine covers. It might come in handy. Your editor is lucky, you have fine tastes.

  8. Failure to communicate, I guess that’s it! From the very beginning I just did not like tabloid format because it’s so like our local newspaper here the layout-style hasn’t change for decades and we’re discussing about a magazine issue so there should be no carry over pages.

    Previously, I made 2 issue of these magazine and was given free hand by different editors on design/layout, it’s like they’re in charge of CONTENT and I took charge of the LOOK.
    Issue 3 –
    Issue 5 –

  9. auggie said:

    Precisely, editors are in charged of content, and art directors/graphic designers/ creative directors, are responsible for THE LOOK. Unless it’s a one-man show, wherein you gotta do EVERYTHING. Don’t laugh, but I have known publications on shoe-string budgets that are one-man shows.

    BTW, are you familiar with the origins that classic line: WHAT WE’VE GOT HERE IS A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE ? It’s from a 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman, in a chain gang way down in the deep South. That classic line was by STROTHER MARTIN, as the head honcho of the state prison, addressing Luke’s hard-headedness….

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