Boy, editorial is hard. This is my third time having an editorial project this semester, so you’d think I would get better at it, but it’s tough to make great editorial design. I decided to revamp my old editorial layout from last year, so I stayed with the same concept: every woman, lady and girl is a Wonder Woman no matter what she does, who she is or where she’s from. So each of them wears a Wonder Woman crown.
I went for a pop-art, vintage-style comic feel this time, and I think what I did well was having a continuity in terms of theme in my editorial spreads. I think I was able to incorporate pop art elements through the illustrations, colours and some of the typography (such as the callouts). What was incredibly challenging was trying to create a more dynamic layout that has synergy and contrast. I think I could’ve made the body copy more engaging by introducing either more drop caps or adding more illustrative elements. I also struggled a lot with the grid (hence that weird white space in between the gutters and that last paragraph just hanging out in the next page), and next time I do editorial design, I’ll keep all of this in check and hopefully make more editorial layouts.
What was challenging was the illustrations, because it is my kryptonite. I told myself I’d challenge myself to push my illustrative skills and have fun with it, but in the end I just need to practice more. Plus, this isn’t an illustration class so I’m not as concerned, though I know that good illustration in an editorial goes a long way. I think I could’ve done a better job with the type hierarchy. There is some hierarchy, but not enough to really guide the reader’s eye, and I think the sidebar content could be given a bit more love in terms of its placement with the color boxes and typography.
Overall I’d give myself a 7/10, because I know I can do better.
The publication survey really taught me things I never expected. I think coming into this class I honestly didn’t know how little I knew about editorial design. I enjoyed it in second year, but now I know that it takes a lot to make a great magazine layout. I think unconsciously I picked Bon Appètit for two reasons, one was because I’m a major foodie and thought it’d be interesting to dissect a food magazine, and two because I wasn’t an avid magazine reader, so I had no idea what other magazine I could’ve done. On hindsight, I probably should’ve been more careful with picking my choice of magazine.
I think what I did well was really dissecting the magazine’s unique aspects and knowing what worked and what didn’t. I really liked Bon Appètit’s experimental way of using colours and using boxes in their grid structure, but in the end the magazine itself didn’t feel as consistent in its use of styles, so it felt like I was reading multiple magazines rather than one cohesive one.
What I found challenging was figuring out what sort of visuals I like in a magazine. I’ve scoured for magazines online and in stores, but I feel like I’m too picky, and I think this could make it harder for me to draw inspiration from when I re-do my editorial layout. I think I could’ve done better in knowing what I was presenting. I wasn’t sure of the technical terms and I totally should’ve brushed up on my part for that. Overall though I think our team did really well in presenting the different highlights and lowlights of their own publication, as well as helping our class realize the many things you could do to make a magazine layout really great. I would give our team 9/10.