How to: redesign a magazine with Dylan McDonough

AUTHOR:  
Published:  March 11, 2015
Desktop

Late last year desktop roped impressive young designer Dylan McDonough in to redesign our print magazine. Here, he takes us through his process — from the research stage through to final execution.

 

 

 

What was the brief and how did you respond to it?

My brief for the desktop refresh was to keep it light, fun and minimal without following any design trends. I developed the white space to have more of an impact, compared to the way white space was used across the look and feel of the previous design. Images were kept as large as possible, and I overlaid them to reflect what I feel The Culture of Design is today.

Reference Image - Idea Parade CI by Studio Verena Hennig

Reference Image – Idea Parade CI by Studio Verena Hennig

Reference Image - WAD Handmade Serie by Jean Yves Lemoigne

Reference Image – WAD Handmade Serie by Jean Yves Lemoigne

Reference Image - Johann Clausen website by Patric Dreier

Reference Image – Johann Clausen website by Patric Dreier

How did you develop the visual language for this project?

Mainly I looked at all things not editorial for research. My brief was asking for a point of difference, and looking at page layouts would have influenced me subconsciously. I was lucky to have some of the features to influence me in my research: MA$H and their crazy ARTchitecture ™ and Sean Hogan’s always-on-point, minimal poster designs. Other influences came mostly from exhibition design, as I wanted to treat desktop as a gallery of work.

My main priority was to respect the designers’ work; to treat their images as large as possible, and not use much colour in the typography.

In the early stages, some of my spreads were packed full of colour, as I feel colour = fun. But I quickly learnt it was distracting the reader from the published images and the featured designers’ work — the elements that need to shine over my design.

DESKTOP_REFRESH_DYLAN_MCDONOUGH_EARLY_DEVELOPMENTS_IMAGE_WELL

Early Development – Image Well

DESKTOP_REFRESH_DYLAN_MCDONOUGH_EARLY_DEVELOPMENTS_MASH

Early Development – MASH Feature

DESKTOP_REFRESH_DYLAN_MCDONOUGH_EARLY_DEVELOPMENTS_ONSCREEN

Early Development – On Screen

How did an awareness of audience affect your process and choices?

I knew I needed to keep the type clean and the images large. Again, really needed the images from the articles to shine. I hope I haven’t annoyed many designers!

Can you talk a little about your treatment of images — the way you’ve spliced and overlaid them in parts?

I wanted to mix and match, slice and dice, overlay etc etc the images until they resembled what I feel The Culture of Design is today. Actually a quote by one of my ‘design’ heroes Richard Turley hit the nail on the head with this:

“The clusterfuck of visual content that we make and experience simultaneously on multiple screens, together, apart, sharing, liking, consuming.”

The above quote might seem a bit too abstract for what I’ve done, but you get the idea…

Final Layout - Image Well

Final Layout – Image Well

Final Layout - MASH Feature

Final Layout – MASH Feature

Final Layout - AKQA Feature

Final Layout – AKQA Feature

What are the rules or guidelines you follow when it comes to editorial design?

I think every project is unique and should be tackled differently, so I don’t (consciously) really have any sets rules or guidelines.

http://dylanmcdonough.com.au/

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