Critique: Vintage Now prototype

I think of the projects that we’ve done so far, I feel most satisfied about the design I did for my Meredith prototype. The biggest concept that I had going into the planning and design processes was to blend modern conventions with vintage aesthetic.

During our group meeting last week, we had mentioned potentially doing an tablet version of the magazine as a quarterly and then doing an annual or semi-annual print version with a compilation of some of the best content. At first, I was hesitant to go this route because, I mean, PRINT! It is and probably will remain for a long time my favorite medium, not to mention the only design I’ve ever done has been for a print format. However, getting into the process of sitting down and thinking out designs, I really started to enjoy thinking with tablet performance in mind.

vn1I wanted to keep the cover pretty simple but still show that mix of vintage look (which explains the black and white photo with women in vintage attire) and a more modern feel with the bold colors and circular geometry. I like the idea of having the cover show this contrast between black and white versus color, but I’m not sure that a black and white photo would work for every issue. I also wanted to avoid featuring our wedding story on the cover because I feel it only markets to a segment of our audience of women 25-55.


vn3As far as designing with a digital platform in mind, I had the most ideas for making department pages interactive on a tablet. Here, I took the editors’ idea to feature four ways to incorporate a piece of vintage furniture to fit different lifestyles. I thought it was really important to emphasize the different patterns and texture that would call vintage style to mind and add some depth to the layout, which is why I made the background image a full bleed of a card catalog cabinet. I think this style could be incorporated into the other departments as well, such as fashion, beauty, etc.

I wanted to play around with the interactivity of the page, so the splash page would provide an intro to the story and have either pop-ups or page redirects by clicking on a specific drawer on the cabinet. Stories like this could also have a fun DIY component with pop-ups to how-to videos or places to buy necessary supplies.


vn5When it came to the feature, my ideas were running low. I decided to use some of the photos Dani provided us from a friend’s wedding, and I wanted to emphasize the beautiful photography by keeping my design out of the way. Other than having a photo slideshow or a pop-up of an interview with the couple, I’m not sure what else I would bring to it, but I do think there’s a lot of potential to do something cool and interactive.

You can’t miss: Beyond Sochi

All eyes have been on Sochi for the past couple of weeks, and with that has come different perceptions (a lot of them critical) about the city and Russia as a whole.

Earlier this week, NPR posted a photo story about a Russian photographer, Valeriy Klamm, who wanted to capture his fellow Russians from the perspective of an insider. Prior to starting the endeavor five years ago, he had never really traveled around the country to capture people in smaller towns outside his own, but he wanted to photograph his countrymen without the critical lens that foreign photographers might develop before even arriving to the scene. Instead, he wanted to move away from the stereotypical “bleak images of a cold and desolate place where autocrats lord over drunks.”

Not only are the photographs incredibly beautiful and telling, but it’s a great example of how there are stories everywhere, even in what you might see as the most desolate of places. Throughout the project, he has enlisted the help of other photographers (both professional and hobbyists) and ethnographers to capture the images. You can find more of the collection here.

You can’t miss: Illustration tributes to Harold Ramis

Creative Bloq posted a collection of illustrated tributes to honor filmmaker Harold Ramis, who died this week. The comedy actor, director and writer is best known for his work including Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, just to name a few. It’s interesting to see the range of messages that each illustration conveys, from a more sentimental perspective to a celebration of the filmmaker’s work. The selection also demonstrates the different ways you can visually communicate one very specific issue and how iconic images in pop culture can be effective in different media.

Photo inspiration: Vintage Vogue

A few years ago, I had to do a research project for a Textile and Apparel Management class. It was for this project that I learned to navigate the deep recesses of Ellis Library (yep, I’m talking about “the cages”) to find collections of old consumer and fashion magazines. Since my Meredith project is all about inspiration from the vintage era, I revisited these stacks to get some inspiration for my prototype design. I came up with some pretty good findings, including a collection of Vogue issues from the spring of 1935.

VogueBecause fashion photography in its current form was still in its infancy back then, a lot of the spreads included  illustrations with bright pops of color and texture. For anyone interested in seeing some old incarnations of magazine design, I’d highly recommend checking out some of the Ellis collections if you’re willing to brave the cages.


5 thoughts on “Throwback

  1. I really liked your different approach to Vintage Now. I think I immediately thought of present-day vintage weddings and would’ve put that on the cover, but your approach of featuring actual vintage ladies was really creative. Your mention of the photographs of Russians by Russians falls in line with a lot of what we’re discussing in my Photo in Society class. I feel like expert photographers who come in to photographer and capture the heart and soul of a region or community don’t necessarily ever get the content that people from that region can… so that was really interesting to look at, especially since I don’t know ANYTHING about Russia. Thanks for sharing!
    – Lauren

  2. I really liked your Vintage designs. I’m especially intrigued by the Hollywood headline and the gradient you put in it. It reminds me of Gatsby. Also, I think we should take a Vintage Now field trip to the library for inspiration (also because I think it’s one of the assignments coming up on the syllabus).

  3. I think you did a really good job with your prototypes for Vintage Now. I like your old Hollywood style, which I think a lot of people want to incorporate into their lives. I think the hardest part for y’all design Vintage Now is the balance between old and new. Good job so far!

  4. I really like your nameplate for Vintage Now. Its color and fonts used go very well with the cover photo. I also think you made great choices on typefaces, especially on titles. Those curly characters remind me a lot of 1920s-1930s books and arts.

  5. I love the feature spread you designed for Vintage Now. The typography echoes your cover logo, and the tone you create is just elegant and professional. The cover logo/nameplate you created is wonderful. Love the V. Is that just from a font? I think the blurbs with colored circles feel out of place, but the top half of your design has obvious newsstand appeal. I like it.

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