I really enjoyed this project. It was a great opportunity to meet professionals in the industry and get my name out there and get recognised. The feedback I’ve had from designers, consultants, and students are fantastic. They love the concept, the idea, the paper stock, the content. I was even employed in the marketing side of a creative agency over this project so I am extremely satisfied with the effort and amount of work I’ve put in.
It was difficult at first to get my head down and think of an idea. I was originally going to focus on rehab centres in Boscomb and interview the environment, exploring and discovering results from people that moved from London. However, I didn’t feel the project was strong enough to motivate me for the next 8 weeks. I do admit, I struggled and frequently asked for advice from lecturers and students. In the mean time, I was working on layouts, and researching into life style magazines etc. Finally, during the Easter-term I came up with an idea of how to make my project more exciting. I decided to showcase design studios in Dorset, but I wanted a clever concept, and continued with the spying idea.
Creating the packages and waiting to receive the images gave me a permanent buss through out the project. It was great to come across problems and problem solve quickly in order to meet deadlines on time. Using twitter as a social networking blog was great use to. I could communicate with designers, keep them updated with what decisions I’m making, who I’m meeting, everything you wanted to know in the project. Holding a competition on this social network also focused on students to get involved with an exciting prize. I found that the more people I spoke to, the more I was inspired with new ideas. I wanted to try everything, or as much as I could. Having sales experience, I was able to negotiate on prizes with Dayfold, and the digital Bureau. Not only that but I was able to convince people to participate in the magazine and make things seem really that interesting that they couldn’t afford to miss out.
Creating the magazine was probably one of the hardest things. Although I had layouts, I continued to explore different things, looking at different mediums. Collecting new magazines, and investigating layouts and analysing images was time consuming, but it allowed me to really have valid reasons why I made decisions. Taking risks I believe was also another area I experienced. Going with a heavy paper stock of 280gsm for the pocket that holds the negative films was a mistake, and something I know I should avoid on this particular occasion. I did want readers to know where the page is, but the paper stock is too heavy and causes the pages before and after it not to open as wide as they could. Furthermore, transcribing the interviews was also time consuming (roughly an hour for each one). But I was able to experiment loads in the long run by copying and pasting the text in word to indesign. I wanted to show off the spectacular photographs provided by the studios themselves, really show off the space and what inspires designers around them.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with my final outcome. If I was picky, I noticed that the cover had started to flake, but I believe this is due to the paper stock. Other than that, I worked as professional as I could - contacting editorial managers to gain permission to use their content sourced from web sites (creative boom, creative review, computer arts, the drum). I stayed polite on emails, telephone conversations with well respected designers such as Simon Esterson and Jeremy Leslie, and always introduced myself with a hand shake when meeting other new people.
I now have a fantastic portfolio piece which I am delighted to pitch to publishers in the next couple of weeks. I had already pitched the product to Matt Desmier (Wise Old Uncle); a well-known design consultant in Dorset, which he absolutely loved the idea, the concept and the magazine itself. I’m also glad managed to convince myself to show off the real colours of the images. The cover is a fantastic image and really gives you an insight on design studios. I kept the layouts clean and simple, but played around with the use of typography. I now look forward to pushing this idea a bit further, perhaps with a second issue or an interesting app that allows people to walk in the streets and your iPhone will alert you when you are nearby a studio with access to images of the workspace. Just an idea.
The first image shows a layer of masking tape over the paper. This was to experiment the speed and power of the laser and to see if it burnt through the black gloss laminate paper stock. The second image shows the actual version found in the two copies printed.
To get a perfect position of the text cut out, I printed out two copies (one being the text and icon and the other being the black background). I placed both sheets on a light box, which would give me an idea how to align both documents so they print perfectly.
Two illustrator files that I experimented with using the laser cutting. This will be cut out off the previous post (french fold section). I think the second works better as it is more recognised as an eye icon.
My pocket which will be located in the centre of the magazine. The concept here is readers can collect their freebies from inside the slot (Negative Films). This is ready to send to the printer.
I want my magazine to be recognised as a high end magazine with a great paper stock. I got recommended by a lecturer to go and speak to Dayfold near Ringwood; they sourced fantastic paper and had a good reputation for print and their friendly service.
I rang in one afternoon and spoke to a guy called Aubrey Avis. He kindly invited me to their office to discuss my project more and have a feel for the sort of paper stock they had used in the past.
The rest of the images show paper stock I was given to choose for my magazines and a digital press. This is cheaper than Litho, but leave an outstanding finish quotes Aubrey Avis. While I was there, I took advantage to speak to a few technicians on how printers work here. He lifted the cover up and explained how and what happens when the paper is absorbed into the machine.
One major advantage of the lithography is that the soft rubber surface of the blanket creates a clear impression on a wide variety of paper surfaces and materials. Lithography printing is easily recognized by its smooth print, as well as by the lack on any impression or ring of ink or serrated edges that are characteristic of letterpress or gravure printing. It consists of creating plates for each project; this is what makes the process more expensive as opposed to digital prints. Here are some images of the Litho printer.
Getting the clients in was no challenge for me. With the sales and marketing experience I have, I was able to build excitement for the agencies. With a free fee to participate and a great concept, they instantly demanded to see a copy once it was printed. Here is a plan of action in the conversations before meeting with the companies:
1) Ask to speak to director (find name out first)
2) Introduce yourself and start pitching concept.
3) Mention other companies which are involved.
4) Ask to come meet in person to discuss further.
I was very keen to meet directors of the agencies I was visiting. Building excitement was beneficial for interviewing them on the spot. Here are the questions I asked each Director to find out a little bit more about their studio lifestyle:
Now I had a designed logo, I started designing my tags that would attach to the disposal cameras. Using Illustrator I was able to work on a A3 canvas and fit 10 tags double sided. Here are some examples of how I laid out my tags to send to the printer. I have applied crop marks to make it easier for me to cut out using a scalpel and a cutting mat. I decided to use red, black and white as my primary colours for the magazine, however this idea could change as the project develops.
More images here show the materials used to cut out the tags. One image shows a photograph of a designer setting up my work to send to the printer (you can see on the page opposite). I decided to print on silk 180 gsm just to reflect an interesting paper stock as opposed to gloss or matte. The printing company that took care of this is CXL Digital
The logo for my magazine. The name ‘Espion’ originates from France meaning ‘Spy’. The reason for this decision is the mag was originally going to be called ‘Eye Spy’. When I checked if the name was available, it was already taken for some sort of government magazine. Being French, I thought of the word espionage which worked perfect for my concept and also sounded good ;) The first three letters are cropped to show partly hidden, playing with the concept of the magazine to find out more.