In this assignment we were required to re-design an existing magazine. We needed consider what sections could be enhanced, reduced, removed or added as well as the overall tone of voice of the magazine. I have enjoyed this assignment simply because i was learning a completely new discipline and i have enjoyed the work i have produced for this project.
The magazine i chose to re-design was the ‘Official Windows’ magazine my aim to reach out to a new audience because when i first picked it up i got the impression that it was aimed at adult women but then when i started reading i felt it was aimed at adult men this is due to the layout of information on some of the spreads, i found it was a bit too much to digest due to the excessive amount of information on certain pages so my aim was to reach out to a younger audience (23+). I chose to re-design this magazine because i felt the target audience needed to be made clearer in order to be that more successful, sticking a woman using a laptop on the front cover didn’t really make me think that they were successfully reaching out to their intended audience so i took it upon myself to change this.
When creating the covers i thought how could i aim it at a younger audience without the inclusion of cheesy images (as seen in the original cover) then i just thought use computers, laptops or desktops after all it is a computer magazine so i felt that the audience need to know that almost immediately otherwise they probably wont pick it up if it doesn’t appeal. The first re-design uses a family image on a computer screen i felt the inclusion of a family all interacting with each other and a PC gave that sense of companionship and user-friendly for all ages, the second front cover uses a dell laptop i felt this would be the best way to get across to the audience that we are a computer magazine so they see that from the image and get that sense of appeal, for the last magazine i decided to include a cpu, a monitor and a laptop on the front cover because again i felt that will instantly connect with the audience on a visual level if they saw it on the stands in Smiths for example i do believe they will get the indication that is it a PC magazine.
When re-designing the content i i made improvements to the relationship on the page, although some of the pages in the magazine were not that bad but i felt they could be improved in order to carry a better appeal. The main thing i noticed was that there was a lot of information and not much images and to read all of that can seem like a daunting task if it is not designed properly which is why i think its audience were adults (who enjoy reading long articles etc) so in order to appeal to a new audience i decided to add a few images and space out a lot of the information making it more less intimidating to look at i felt i was successfully able to do this.
What i found difficult at first was the idea generation because i didn’t really know where to start considering it is a high-profile magazine so i could either do a really bad or a really good job (i hope it was the latter). The reason i found it difficult is because the pages i was re-designing had a lot of body text so i had to try and re-design it whilst also being creative but i think i managed to do it as i was happy with my result.
If i was to change anything i would probably experiment more with the front covers as the content changes the style stayed the same so maybe a bit more variety would have looked better for the front covers. I also feel that a better use of baseline grids could have stepped up my design for some of the features and articles as im not sure i utilised it to its full potential but overall i feel that i was able to reach out to a new audience with the update on designs to the front cover, contents page, one news section, one longe feature and short feature.
I encountered a few problems before submission in both a manual and digital format. For the manual submission we were required to mount the designs onto a board, that was done however in order to use the least amount of boards i decided to cut off the crop and bleed marks because if they were kept on they would overlap the board and i wanted two pages per blackboard to reduce the number of boards i needed, the PDF however does have the initial bleed and crops marks.
Here are images of the final printed documents and me cutting to fit the boards.
That is how they looked once i had applied spray mount and stuck them onto the black board i was happy with the final results.
The problem that occurred with the digital submission is that once i had tried to open the files on the Macs they did not have the fonts that i had used on a Windows PC, so i had to try and find the font on a Mac and install them before i could print the correct one, however this proved to be unsuccessful. I remembered that i had saved all the relevant documents as a jpg and they contained the original fonts that i used so i assembled the pages into Indesign but i noticed the quality wasn’t great so if i was to print from that it wouldn’t look correct, so i exported all the pages as a PDF and this improved the quality of all the pages so i decided to send that PDF to Nigel (the print guy). Whilst it was printing i was very anxious as to how it would turn out due to the complications beforehand but once i got them they had turned out as i had predicted and they were just fine.
For the brief we were required to re-design an existing magazine.
1. Three separate covers
2. A two-page table of contents (two single pages or a spread)
3. One news section (one or two pages)
4. One long feature (five pages or more) and
5. One short feature (two or three pages)
Here are how the final designs looked:
Here are the sketches implmented in PhotoShop
For the first one i decided to have the background look as if it was a computer desktop by following a tutorial http://www.tutorial9.net/tutorials/photoshop-tutorials/creating-the-windows-vista-lighting-effect/ here is how my own looked i decided to have the aurora effect because it is from the windows system itself so i thought incorporating it into the redesign could help what i was aiming for (the target audience), also the use of the laptop gives the impression that it is a magazine focused on pc/ laptop technology.
The second magazine cover i felt look more like a magazine maybe because of my choices of colour but i was experimenting until i found the right colour combination and this was seemed to work, i put a picture of a random family using a computer this was my attempt for the user-friendly sort of appeal to the audience the only problem i found with this is that some people would think the magazine is just entirely to do with family when it isn’t.
The third and fourth redesign simply use an image of a standard CPU i got this idea from the Maximum pc magazine which solely used a CPU as the focal point by making it and only the primary image i also felt this directly represented what the magazine would be about without having to read the text first, i think this also worked quite well but maybe developing it could make the redesign a bit stronger remains to be seen.
For the last idea i decided to use all three a CPU, a laptop and a monitor (computer screen) and i think this was my favourite redesign of all simply because i felt it was the strongest something about it just seems to connect the images, the text and the overall tone of voice i definitely think it would be able to appeal to a fresh audience because the colours are a bit more vibrant compared to the original cover.
I may change a few things on some of the magazines before i select my final three.
After my research on magazine covers i began sketching different concepts which i had thought of here are the sketches.
The top left idea focuses on just a laptop being the primary image surrounded by a colour gradient and other features in the mag. I felt using a laptop directly relates to what the magazine will be about.
The 2nd idea (top right) uses a family computer with their image being the desktop wall paper, this was my user-friendly approach to the front cover of the magazine i felt using a family portrait on the family computer makes it seem like the magazine is for everyone in the family obviously some kids won’t understand terminology which where the parents come in.
My third idea is (bottom left) is similar to the one directly above but instead of a laptop i will use the image of a cpu ( central processing unit) because again i feel that will directly connect with the audience.
The last idea focuses on all of them combined together so it will have a family computer, laptop and a cpu. I feel the combination of all makes the concept that much stronger and i think it directly appeals to the intended audience.
I will now try a design them.
Here are a few pc & mac magazine covers.
Looking at the different types of pc magazines i noticed that the only one that uses a model is the Official Windows magazine i think this is done to try to portray a user-friendly sort of vibe to the reader and in that sense i think it works but personally i wouldn’t just use a woman maybe a family or maybe a husband and wife at the moment i think the Windows magazine is appealing more to the females than the males simply because of the connection with the front cover image.
I like the tone of the Macworld magazine i feel the background colour works with the cover image which is of a phone which is obviously getting straight to the point about what the magazine articles are likely to feature in it.
I also like the Maximum PC cover of the magazine again without looking at the title i think you would know what the magazine will be about i think the image is very strong which supports the overall feel of the magazine.
After looking at a few pc magazine covers i will sketch my ideas and see what i can come up with wish me luck!
This is the magazine that i have and will redesign, i w ill be making three different covers for the magazine.
I will change how it looks so that it is easier to appeal to the intended audience, when i first saw this magazine cover i thought it was aimed at women simply because of the image on the front cover then after i noticed the title (Official Windows magazine) and realised what it would be about. I think if they want to appeal to the right audience a change in the background image should be made because it doesn’t scream computers does it especially if you remove the logotype which is what i initially done I also feel that they were relying too much on the logotype to draw the audience in rather than the image of the women so i will most likely change that.
I don’t like the use of the windows task bar at the bottom i find that to be a bit too cheesy for a magazine similar to the top task bar i don’t feel it needs to be there and i think it could work better without them features.
My aim is to redesign the front cover three times and the redesign aims to appeal to a fresh audience.