blog-header

Monday, 21 March 2011

A Young Person's Guide to Editorial Design

Year 0 supremo Zoe Garnett-Scott (33) is pictured here inducting her intrepid students into the world of Editorial Design.

What Zoe doesn't know about Editorial Design can't be written on the back of a hand. That's because Zoe knows everything there is to know about magazine design leaving literally nothing to write on the back of the hand!
In her long and notable career Zoe has worked for some of the largest (A2) and smallest (A6) publications in the country.


Putting together a magazine is both a creative and a highly technical activity. It is one of the few areas of design that overlaps the worlds of advanced mathematics and particle physics. It is a little known fact that popular face of science Professor Brian Cox's interest in physics was initially sparked by his training as an Editorial Designer working on Smash Hits.


Brian 'Coxy' Cox during his Smash Hits days.

The journey from raw novice to experienced practitioner is both long and hard but we teach our students slowly and over a long period of time. Making sure that they understand each principle, technique and equation before moving on to the next.

Zoe's lecture to Year 0 students allows you (our beloved reader), to visually 'eavesdrop' on this exciting and challenging discipline of design. After an hour of lecturing, the studio whiteboard documents many of the 'trade' secrets of Editorial Design. Lets have a look at them now...


The post-lecture board in all its glory.

Featured below are the key equations from Foundation Level Editorial Algebra extracted for your benefit, including the standard equation for calculating 'mag size' (number of pages).

The most basic of editorial algebra equations are known as the People's Wallpaper Constants and are featured below:





As you can see two radically different publications owe their existence to identical factors but used in quite different ways.
I know you're thinking that this all sounds very easy but just to halt you in your tracks we will now show you the type of Editorial Algebra our Year 2 students deal with on a daily basis. This advanced equation is simply known as the 'X-factor'.

Not so confident now are you?

Editorial Design is not a theoretical subjects and there is also a lot of technical equipment that the budding magazine designer needs to master. As with the theory, this kit is introduced gradually over time, allowing the students to master
its usage whilst working on project briefs.

Tools of the Editorial Designer's Trade

Zoe is a passionate Editorial Designer and this enthusiasm rubs off on her students. She happily answers their each and every query about this ancient and noble art. The only questions Zoe refuses to answer relate to 'evil' design. She patiently explains to these impressionable young minds that when she was a student herself, she opted to train as a 'White' Editorial Designer, thereby electing to turn her back forever on the 'dark side' of magazine design. Black Editorial Design may, at face value, appear glamorous and exciting but in reality is highly addictive and destructive. It is very difficult to control or predict the outcome of even the briefest dalliance. Mild cases can result in the ownership of a fixed wheel bicycle but at its worst a 'retro' flat in Hoxton could result!

Next time: Black Typography with Rhiannon Robinson (33)...

0 comments:

Post a Comment