There’s a good reason why I’ve disappeared off the face of the Earth for a while, even though I promised myself I’d blog far more frequently. But that just hasn’t been possible with the amount of work I’ve been drowning in recently.
I had my work placement the week after I put up my last post. It was only at the newspaper for the town I lived in, so in all honesty I wasn’t expecting to get loads out of it – but I did. It was really useful, and there was plenty for me to get stuck in to – but more on that soon, as part of my case study.
The other thing that took up quite a bit of my time was the second issue of Flex.
The first issue did better than we were expecting, but we barely had time to sit down and rest before we set about planning out the next one. Rob and I were fortunate enough to sit with the editors of Wed magazine at their offices a week before the first issue released, and picked up plenty of pointers from them. I was also extremely grateful to Joe Barnes, editor of FHM for sending quite a lengthy email to me, full of pointers for the magazine.
The ideas came quick enough, and we knew the direction we wanted to take. We knew where to improve and what we could change. It was getting it all into action that was the difficult part.
Arranging shoots was another huge aspect. There’s something that much better about having your own images of exactly what you want, and being able to use them freely. That way you can be sure of the quality, something that is absolutely vital when going to print.
They’re also a hell of a lot of fun. We shot five different pasties for a taste test feature, and ended up with shots that would feature in a layout completely different to how I’d drawn it up beforehand. I also really enjoyed the ‘essentials’ shoot we had for this issue – there’s something really nice about arranging loads of stuff on the floor neatly.
Making a fourty page magazine, laying it all out and trying to make it all look fancy is quite a bit of work.
I’ve sort of, kinda, taken on the visual direction of the magazine. I laid out a majority of the features and other pages for this issue, and I’m much happier with how it looks now. Course, there’s always room for improvement and I’m planning on writing up a style guide, submission guide and template issue mock-up, to make future issues that much less time consuming and give a more consistent feel.
I hope that the design is something a lot of people notice this time around. The first issue we were sort of dipping our toes in the water and seeing what people would think of the idea we were heading in, the content we were producing, that sort of thing. This time around, it’s much more defined.
We’re expecting the issue to drop on May 20th, which is the Monday coming. So until then, let me know if you’d like to read more like this, and also what you think of Issue Two.