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Inside Magazine – Transition Year Students Project – briefing & working with a designer

In Ireland Transition Year (TY) (Idirbhlian) is an optional one-year school program that can be taken in the year after the Junior Certificate in secondary school. Those who take the extra year are given the opportunity to develop life skills. One such project is the Mini company endeavour.

October of 2011 I was engaged as graphic designer by a group of 5 student entrepeneurs who wished to learn how to and produce a 32 page A4 magazine to sell to their peers, teachers, friends and family.

Editor in Chief • Dervla Potter, Fashion • Megan McIntosh, Events • Cathy Wheeler, Sports • Chloe Thomas, Beauty • Saoirse Finnegan, of the Presentation Secondary School, Wexford.

Their demographic was 12 to 18 year old teenagers, their families and friends. On a steady diet of young womens magazines such as Bella, Best and Now, etc.. Bright colourful, full of makeup and clothes advertising in the guise of informative articles. Articles on popular films, books advice and subjects of interest to the desired audience.

The 5 students established their magazines audience needs through research, observation and conversation. They decided on the content of their magazine, sourced, photography, journalists and advertising.

During our first consultation I was given the brief on what the team wanted from their magazine. We discussed the format, various forms of production and how to plan the content and the layout. To creating the foundation of a storyboard that later became a ‘mini’ version of the developing magazine. Making decisions on the overall look of the magazine.

As content came in I received my instructions in various forms. Some of the editors provided written descriptions, others produced their ideas using ‘Word’ processing software, one voiced their desired layouts while I drew thumbnails of her ideas. Another cut & pasted layouts with notes on desired typefaces and swatches of colours to be used. Followed by discussions on viability and how they’d fit in the magazine overall.

These I recreated to sit on a predetermined layout grid and over all style. altered photographs and images for use in the commercial print process’

As most of the content became available we tweeked the layout and I developed print ready artwork. Replacing rough layout images with higher resolution print suitable photographs. I applied the bleeds where images or colour would fall off the edge of the page.

A few weeks later. Layout fully resolved, rough pictures replaced by ‘suitable for commercial print’ quality images, text and content edited and proofread. The magazine was almost ready for print. The printer requested that imposition be applied by the designer. Imposition is the placement of pages in a certain order that they might be printed back to back & allowing the correct order (page numbering) when the book is put together. It can vary from Print house to Print shop depending upon the size of their printing machines.

Advertising content had been supplied by some of the advertisers, designed adverts or providing copy and images with a brief description. Others required photographs to be taken by ‘inside’ magazine staff then content and design generated in house.

In a flurry of excitement ‘Inside’ magazine went to print in time for Christmas.

 

 

These five taskmaster design directors then went their Merry way. Onwards & upwards skipping jauntily towards the sunset of that school year. ‘I never did see the final result but I’m sure of one thing, those young women got a fair, though condensed, education into producing a magazine.’ It was a great deal more work than they had imagined.



One response to “Inside Magazine – Transition Year Students Project – briefing & working with a designer”

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