January 29, 2009

Dazed and Confused: A Design Adventure Part II

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Welcome back to Daze of Our Lives…. Oh boy, the puns keep coming! This is Part II in a series about the design of the new (ish) weekend magazine, Daze. Issue two is on stands around Ithaca today! Let’s continue our design blow-by-blow by continuing through the first issue.


Notes From Abroad was a perfect opportunity to play around with skewed photographs. One of my favorite themes of design is the interplay between “on grid” and “off grid.” Looking at the page, you see the framed photo, all the body text and the box surrounding the story follow a very rigid, traditional page design: equally spaced margins, right angles and tightly packed pages. But the title “Notes from Abroad” and the map of Qatar break the rigid format, bleeding into the text and running into the box.
This is a great demonstration of how pages can have three dimensions. The title is on top of the box of text, flowing over into the margin at a skew. The Qatar map, however, is below the box, being cutoff before it reaches the margin. And you didn’t even need funny glasses with blue and red lenses!


Cornell Diaries is sort of the antithesis of trashy gossip rag. On a scale of Pulitzer worthy to porno, this is probably closer to the latter. To reflect the “shock and awe” nature of the story, the design takes cues from tabloid papers: there’s a thick black knockout headline, busting through the page so violently, it’s literally been cracked (the name of that font actually IS “Cracked”). Reverse type on a pure black background follow this model, making this look more Daily Post than Daily Sun.


The Finer Things was basically a chance to poke fun at the various lit magazines out there. My goal was to basically make things as pretentious as possible. Skewed frames, a total disregard for the grid and an obnoxiously ornate script headline.


Pages 14 and 15 of the new magazine are going to get switched up a lot over compet, as aspiring editors attempt to introduce new content to the pages. This week, Allie Perez ’10 came up with an “Anniversaries Spread.” Again, the page was a chance to mingle on-grid and off-grid elements. In this case, the headline, the box, and roughly half the text blurbs are on grid. Everything else, from rocket ships to photographs are bursting all over the place, beating even the most extreme case of design ADD. Seventeen and Cosmo – this page is for you!


The spread continues onto (or “spreads onto”) page 15, where we were lucky enough to get color! It’s slightly awkward to design a half-color, half-black & white spread, but I thought it was a chance to contrast the old with he new. On 14 a retro rocket puffs out billows of smoke, near an old photograph of fidel castro. Futher down the page we find vintage Straight-takeover photography and Goerge Washington. On page 15 two colorful new-age rockets emit three beams from their photon-rockets, amongst colorful bubbles and the Mars Rover. My favorite color pairings are also found on this page: blue with orange, and dark purple with neon green.


Finally, here’s the spread for the second issue. The design concept came from Daze Editor Compet Cara Sprunk ’10, who’s favorite ivy-league sex novel features a curvaceous lady with ivy over the pooch. If I was going to toy around with anatomy, I insisted we include a male silhouette. Thus the “Sexual Health at Cornell” spread was born.
The people are polygons drawn in Quark, just like on the fashion page. As I mentioned, this kind of tracing is my new favorite hobby. The woman is actually two separate photos, the top is a busty plus-sized woman with some decent hair. The bottom is a stick-skinny model. Thus an hour-glass waste was born. I should also point out I free-handed the legs, and forgot to add knees. Sad times. The man is a silhouette of Brad Pitt in Fight Club. I realized the image looks ridiculously sketchy out of context.