Alexandra Fiore

October 2010

I would like to work for a magazine, so therefore for my seminar project I want to explore the process and execution of magazine design. I would like to create several magazines, each with different themes/topics that interests me as a designer. Each magazine will only be filled with my work. I will play as the art director, designer and model. I will explore different forms of design that I have always wanted to experiment with. Each issue will be printed differently. For example, the first will be a large format magazine with big pages and full bleeds. The second issue perhaps will be printed in the form of a newspaper.

The first issue will represent my original seminar idea. It will focus on The Space Between. I will examine the space between letters and the shapes that the negative space makes. I will take these shapes and create abstract images that will be interpreted differently depending on the viewer. These images will stand alone on a page arranged in different compositions, with only a title for text on the opposing page. To prepare for this, I will examine different types of art magazines to see how the designer’s of those magazines used consistency throughout the issues, along with layouts and topics.

The second issue will be an Ode to Brodovitch. I have always admired Alexey Brodovitch as a designer of Harper’s Bazaar. So, therefore I wanted to interpret his style of old Bazaar layouts. However, the twist will be that I will use the same layout characteristics of his design but with my style. I will also be the model so that this magazine is fully personal. I will use a lot of white space with cut out images along with big headlines that show the picture relating to the text on the page. I have examined previous layouts Brodovitch has designed and decided to use the same headlines and body text but altering them to make them my own. The magazine will be in black and white to have that old Harper’s Bazaar look and feel.

The name of the magazine will remain Zandra but each issue will have a separate logo to go along with the magazine theme. Continuing elements will be a table of contents, letter from the editor (which will explain my idea and concept for each magazine) and a contributor’s page. I will focus the first semester on experimentation of content and the second semester will be devoted to finalization and production of the magazine.

These issues will be a portfolio of only my work in the form of magazines. Each issue will have a different theme but certain elements will remain the same to show consistency. It is still a question as to what the other issues will consist of. However, it will be another theme that interests me.

Up & Coming
September 2010
personal / promotional magazine(s), and typeface…

In the future I would like to work for a magazine, so therefore for my seminar project I want to explore the process and execution of magazine design. I would like to create a magazine focused on new and upcoming artists who are about to graduate from art school and those who have graduated within the last five years. It will be directed towards current art students and businesses in the art field, who are looking to hire artists.

I will play as art director of the magazine, and work with a photographer for my imagery and find people to interview and write articles. Each issue will have a different attitude or theme to it, whie certain elements of the magazine will be present in every issue. The repeating elements of the magazine wil be the life after art school section. A select number of artists will be chosen for each issue, and will take part in an interview where they will be asked questions such as, what work they are currently doing, in the field or not in the field, what they expected they would be doing when they graduated — a profile of their work life. There would also be a contact section so that readers could contact these artists if they wanted to discuss specific projects, and also be contacted for hire. The articles in the magazine will be based on interesting, never seen before projects different artists are in the process of doing or have completed. For example, the process of finding the shapes within letters, the exercise I conducted, would be an article.

For the cosmetics of the magazine, it will be heavy on typography and use grids. The color palette would consist of black and white images, or text with hints of color in certain places. This palette reflects my style, since I work with back, white and tones of gray along with bright bold colors. The length is still unknown, whether it will be a lengthy magazine or have 25 to 30 pages. To keep my previous idea for seminar continued in this project, I will create a typeface for this magazine. Completing a typeface along with this magazine seems like a lot of work in a little time, so I will at least create the typeface for the heading of the magazine. This magazine will not have straight columns of text, but rather interesting angles and shapes filled with text so it doesn’t look like another boring multi-columned magazine.

I plan on researching other art and design magazines to see what they contain. I will research what audience it is addressed to, copy, what kind of paper is used, and what kind of themes are presented in each issue. I will aso ask felow classmates as to what they would like to see in this magazine and what features coud make it better, overall.

My Typeface
18 May 2010

For my seminar project, I want to examine why I choose the typefaces that I do and why they are used in my work. It has been noticeable that my style has changed from freshman year to the present. I used to work more with imagery and now I am more into typography. I want to design a sans serif typeface that will represent my identity as a designer. When I start a project, I tend to gravitate to the same fonts such as Futura, Helvetica Neue, Gill Sans, Avenir and Univers. Perhaps these fonts have a style that I ike since I gravitate to them no matter what the subject is that I am designing for. I want to examine which elements in these fonts attract me to them, and why they repeat in my work.

When studying these fonts I will compare them to the transitions I have made as a designer. Helvetica Neue is a practical and easy-to-read font, depending on how a designer uses it. It can be seen as bold and expressive, or simple and minimal, based on which weight is used. As a freshman I would use light weights of the font, minimal text, with an image that would dominate the page. Now, I make typography the focal point and use bold weights at a large scale. When I create my typeface I want it to represent my identity; bold and easy to read, but still can be used in an expressive, typographic way that is appealing to an audience.

My first semester will focus on the study of typefaces in different contexts. Such as, using different fonts with the same product, and the same font with different products. For example, when you think of perfume, you would think of elegance, femininity and the smell of perfume that evokes a certain feeling. A designer would choose a font that best represents the perfume and design accordingly. I will compare typefaces and decide what characteristics of each font make it the correct font to use for the specific subject I am designing for.

I will devote my second semester of seminar to the design and creation of the typeface based on the characteristics of the fonts that I examine in the first semester. The typeface that I design will represent my identity as a designer, not only because I designed it myself, but because it will represent my style as a designer.

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