I’m Back: Work Experience and Flex

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.

Some of my favourite layouts I put together for Issue Two of Flex.
Some of my favourite layouts I put together for Issue Two 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.

Not long to go now... #flex #issuetwo #deadline #print #magazine #work #design My pale arms are gonna be cradling and caressing some beautiful pasties in the next @flexmagazine - behind the scenes for ya. #flex #me #studio #pasty #magazine #shoot
ENDS
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.

Design is a massive thing for me. Sharp eyes will notice differences between issues.
Design is a massive thing for me. Sharp eyes will notice differences between issues.

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.

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3 thoughts on “I’m Back: Work Experience and Flex”

  1. Hi Ben. I graduated from the BA Journalism Degree at Falmouth this time last year, and I am currently living in Australia. I remember Flex well, & contributed a few reviews to it during my time at Falmouth! You’re doing great things with it! I was wondering if for a future article piece, you would be interested in featuring a piece about ‘The life of an Ex – Falmouth University student in Australia’ .. or something along those lines? Since I have been here, I have interned with a company in Sydney, and also freelancing some of work. I thought an article about the transition from student life to the ‘real’ world would be interesting perhaps? Anyway, let me know mate. Cheers, Tom. http://www.thomasjamesmitchell.com

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    1. Tom,
      Thanks a lot! It’s great that even from a few pictures you can see the difference we’re trying to make.
      It’s interesting that you suggest that as a piece, as we currently have a ‘Graduated’ section in the magazine, where we catch up with people who used to be at Falmouth and see how they’ve gotten on. We’ve had two of they guys from FHM on it and a Garden Design graduate, so it’d be great if we could feature you!
      Drop me an email to ben@flexnewspaper.co.uk with your email and we can go from there?
      Thanks for getting in touch Tom.

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