Arts & Entertainment, Design & Style

Designing Impactful Magazines

David Carson

Lesson time 09:34 min

David breaks down the editorial work he pioneered at different magazines that established him as an unpredictable and polarizing figure in the field of graphic design.

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Topics include: Case Study: Intrigue the Reader With Body Copy • Case Study: Don’t Put Things in Obvious Places • Case Study: Readability Is Subjective


[UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS] - You know editorial work has its own kind of advantages. And early in my career, I was drawn to magazine design which is graphic design. Whether it's the image or the type or the white space or the whole layout, how can I reinforce what I've just read through color, through texture, through shape, through my choices? That's when design can be so powerful. It's always been, and it may be more than ever, hard to get somebody to jump into a gray page of type. And that's some of your job as a designer is to help with that and help them get in. Otherwise they may miss a great article or some important information. And so if you're not dealing with the type in the body copy, then could be a real disservice to the writer because their information doesn't get read. And to the reader, who misses this important information. And this article was on the techno dancing. And this is some imagery. It was provided, and it just seemed to lend itself to some experimentation with movement or shapes of these columns of type. So two columns on the right are touching, or almost, that's not a big deal. I just feel the white space and the movement in here. And I just can't see any reason why you would take this and let the computer make those three columns even, flush left, the same space. Everybody's like oh, that's deadly. That could be screaming don't read me. Okay, this one is just playing with letters. It's actually a pretty basic font here. The word wedge, this is called the Wedge People, it has a E at the end of it. But I've dropped it down to become the E in people. And still seems to kind of work. So I'm intrigued by that type of thing. This hopefully makes it more interesting and promises to the viewer this might be worth your time. There's something going on here. This is superchunk, another band. And I've also realized I could take the words super and actually reverse it out of the body copy, creating chunks of type. I found that kind of interesting. So it doesn't wrap around the word super, the type there simply disappears. But you still got the gist of the article. Here's a very simple layout for Tony Hawk in Beach Culture Magazine. I'm just playing off the squareness of the illustration where there's actually some nice movement, but that against the O in his name and hopefully some reference of maybe wheels, or movement, or skateboarding in that. The byline, the X there, plays a big part in this arrangement. If you take it out, the spread isn't working. So they're all elements, and that's what you do is designers. Contents pages are traditionally I haven't put page numbers on them, but with this issue of Surf Portugal, I decided, you know what? I'm going to really go with the page numbers. So here they are, very big. And they were actually what you would-- where the articles appeared. So for instance, this is the article on page 92. And the page number becomes a very important graphic element. And...

About the Instructor

From Ray Gun and Transworld Skateboarding magazines to surfboards and potato chip bags, David Carson changed the trajectory of graphic design by never following the rules or sticking to the grid. Now the pioneering designer is sharing his intuitive approach so you can send a message with boundary-breaking work. Explore typography, photography, logo design, and more as you learn how to make an impact and trust your gut.

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David Carson

Pioneering graphic designer David Carson teaches you his intuitive approach to creating work that breaks rules and makes an impact.

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