Archive | Off the Page RSS for this section

How Did They Create That Cover? subTerrain

The finalists for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced — including ten nominations in the Magazine Covers category.

In a new blog series titled How Did They Create That Cover? the NMAF chats with the creative directors of the Magazine Covers finalists about how their covers were made. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at things we may or may not think about when we pick up a magazine and devour its pages.

Today we chat with illustrator Marlena Zuber, creator of this nominated cover from subTerrain:

 

NMAF: Can you tell us a bit about your style of illustration, and how you came to be an illustrator?

Marlena: I was privileged to attend Etobicoke School of the Arts for my High School years. My major was Visual Arts and my minor was dance. Then I was off to OCAD. I had to decide if I wanted take the Fine Art or the Commercial route. I had been working at a children’s book and toy store and fell in love with the storybook section. Often when I got my pay cheque I would buy a favourite book based on the illustrations. I still have those books and have a little one that I can share them with now. That’s been pretty nice.

Those illustrators inspired me and I thought, I want to do something like that. I will also admit that I was typically afraid of being that mythical or perhaps not-so mythical “starving artist” if I went into the drawing and painting programs (the common sheepish story of the illustrator). Illustration was a viable choice. And so I studied illustration and I actually liked it. I liked the challenge of editorial work, coming up with a concept and working with text. I graduated, had offers from agents and dove straight into the world of mainly editorial illustration.

My style is something that’s evolved over the years and continues to evolve. One thing that seems to be a constant is my use of ink or fine pens. My work is also more drawing than painting. I’ve always loved playing with texture and pattern. My sketchbook of hidden art sometimes also inspires my illustration style. I like when things look immediate, slightly messy, and slightly unfinished. If a concept allows, I will draw people in group formations. I am interested in what we do in groups: dancing, sports, entertaining, recreation, etc. Oh yeah, and I have been influenced by artists and illustrators like Edward Gorey, Henrik Drescher, Frida Kahlo, Leanne Shapton and David Shrigley.

NMAF: There are a lot of small scenes happening on the cover. What are some of these groups of people meant to depict?

Marlena: Every group is sitting round a fire, like a campfire. One group is roasting marshmallows, another group is dancing, another one is in group therapy, another are telling Mexican ghost stories, and another group is making out or about to make out. All of them seem to be in the desert, which seemed like a perfect weird hot place. The theme for this issue was Heat. I was influenced by two main things: my love for campfires and photos of Burning Man Festival that I found on the Internet. The groups are like the stories inside the issue. The theme of heat is explored in a range of sexy, philosophical, scientific and magical ways.

NMAF: How were the colours chosen and why?

Marlena: I went heavy on all shades of red due to the theme of Heat. I used blue as a compliment. I also generally like using this palette.

NMAF: What were some of your challenges and concerns during the making of this cover?

Marlena: Brian Kaufman, the editor-in-chief, asked me to incorporate titles of some of the stories in the issue with the campfire groups. It was a fantastic idea and he suggested that I try incorporating the text in the smoke of the fires rising above each group. It simply didn’t look good. It took me awhile to problem solve. In the end I placed them almost like little playful 3D characters near or around the fires. That seemed to work.

NMAF: What did you use to create this cover? Can you explain the process?

Marlena: I work in a traditional way: pen and ink on sometimes fancy, sometimes not-too-fancy paper. That’s exactly what happened on the cover. I did use Photoshop to clean it up and piece a few things together.

This interview was edited for content. Special thanks to Nadya Domingo for conducting the interview.

 

More ‘How Did They Create That Cover?’Fashion MagazineToronto LifeBC BusinessWestern Living, Report on Business

Check out the finalists for best Magazine Cover on our Facebook page. Share your feedback with us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #MagazineCovers.

The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed on June 6 at the National Magazine Awards gala. [TICKETS]

How Did They Create That Cover? Report on Business

The finalists for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced — including ten nominations in the Magazine Covers category.

In a new blog series titled How Did They Create That Cover? the NMAF chats with the creative directors of the Magazine Covers finalists about how their covers were made. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at things we may or may not think about when we pick up a magazine and devour its pages.

Today we chat with Domenic Macri, art director at Report on Business and creator of two of the ten finalists for best Magazine Cover:

NMAF: Where was this photo taken and why was this location chosen?

Domenic: After taking some portraits in the BlackRock offices in Toronto, we convinced Larry Fink to continue the shoot just outside on Bay Street. He was apprehensive, and it was starting to rain. Once outside, the photographer, Anya Chibis*, had Fink walk across the street. And it was at this point that Chibis managed to capture Fink with his guard down.

NMAF: There’s a lot going on in the Larry Fink cover–his facial and body expressions are very animated. Was this staged or a candid photograph, and why did you decide on this image?

Domenic: Typically, we don’t get as much body language from high-profile business people—especially one who runs the largest investment fund in the world—so we couldn’t resist trying it on the cover. And since the story celebrated his achievements, we decided to run with it.

* Editor’s Note: Photographer Anya Chibis is also nominated in the category Portrait Photography for her work on this cover.

NMAF: Is the animal on the “Target” cover fake or real? How was this achieved?

Domenic: The image on the cover is in fact Bullseye, the official mascot of Target. We managed to book a photo shoot with him when he was in Toronto. He was very well behaved.

NMAF: Was this always the image that you had in mind for the Target cover? What were some of the other ideas?

Domenic: When we commissioned the photographer, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, to get the shot, I already knew what I wanted—a close up of Bullseye’s distinct eye markings, which I could use on the cover. At the time, the Target marketing machine was working overtime, and stories and ads were appearing everywhere; most of the time, they were using the graphic red Target logo and portraits of Bullseye. I felt that by using the imperfect logo on Bullseye’s eye, along with the texture of his fur, we would be making an obvious connection to our cover story without looking like a promotional piece for Target.

NMAF: There isn’t a lot of text on this cover, other than the magazine name and headline on the bottom corner. What was the reason behind that decision? 

Domenic: Sometimes, when you don’t have the greatest image to work with on the cover, you can sell the story with strong lines. In this case, however, I had a strong graphic image, and I didn’t want to clutter up the image with blaring cover lines.

This interview was edited for content. Special thanks to Nadya Domingo for conducting the interview.

More ‘How Did They Create That Cover?’Fashion MagazineToronto LifeBC BusinessWestern Living

Check out the finalists for best Magazine Cover on our Facebook page. Share your feedback with us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #MagazineCovers.

The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed on June 6 at the National Magazine Awards gala. [TICKETS]

How Did They Create That Cover? Western Living

The finalists for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced — including ten nominations in the Magazine Covers category.

In a new blog series titled How Did They Create That Cover? the NMAF chats with the creative directors of the Magazine Covers finalists about how their covers were made. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at things we may or may not think about when we pick up a magazine and devour its pages.

Today we chat with Paul Roelofs, art director at Western Living and creator of this nominated cover:

NMAF: Was this cover always what the magazine had in mind to depict the story, or were there other ideas? 

Paul: Not at all what we had in mind. The September issue is a landmark issue for us each year and features a large editorial package called Designers of the Year. It is a competition that WL hosts in many design categories. The issue celebrates the winners and there are quite large awards events that accompany the issue in Vancouver and Calgary. And so for the one issue each year we have the opportunity to break the mould, so to speak, and create something more conceptual.

The challenge is to find iconography that somehow covers the diversity of the categories, from architecture and interior design to fashion and industrial design, etc. Other thoughts ranged from creating a room set with pantone chips as artwork on the walls. Also: a still-life photograph of all different tools used across the genres.

NMAF: Why was the colour palette chosen to depict the Designers of the Year?

Paul: The visual icon was a swatch pad, like a pantone swatch fan. We landed on this since it seemed general enough to work across multiple design genres. As for the colours, we were inspired by Paul Smith colour palettes and embarked on creating our own palette that seemed fresh, bold and timeless, and not seasonal.

NMAF: How many people were involved in the making of this particular cover, and what role did you play?

Paul: Our entire senior group has a voice in this cover. We take a very collaborative approach. I drive the creative and so lead the group in partnership with the editor in chief. Once we landed on the idea, I sketched it out and contracted a 3D rendering artist, Mike Cormack, to help bring the idea to life. I had worked with Mike in the past for rendering retail products that were still in production and needed to be brought to life before they existed yet. We explored having a swatch fan built by a printing house and then photographed and retouched, but with the 3D rendering technology being so sophisticated today, it became the obvious choice for execution.

NMAF: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I spot Helvetica! Any reason behind the iconic font choice?  

Paul: That, my friend, is Univers and one of the fonts that debuted in the redesign that launched that same month.

 

This interview was edited for content. Special thanks to Nadya Domingo for conducting the interview.

More ‘How Did They Create That Cover?’Fashion MagazineToronto Life, BC Business

Check out the finalists for best Magazine Cover on our Facebook page. Share your feedback with us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #MagazineCovers.

The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed on June 6 at the National Magazine Awards gala. [TICKETS]

How Did They Create That Cover? BC Business

The finalists for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced — including ten nominations in the Magazine Covers category.

In a new blog series titled How Did They Create That Cover? the NMAF chats with the creative directors of the Magazine Covers finalists about how their covers were made. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at things we may or may not think about when we pick up a magazine and devour its pages.

Today we chat with Catherine Mullaly, art director at BC Business and co-creator of this nominated cover:

NMAF: Can you describe what the setting was like at the photo shoot for this cover?

Catherine: I was not at the photo shoot for this cover, but Ben Oliver, our associate art director, was there. This was a joint collaboration and we entered the National Magazine Awards as co-contributors. We did not have time to scout our location so Ben (along with photographer Paul Joseph) went with the plan of shooting for the story and keeping his eye out for a good cover opportunity. The setting is real – it’s the meat cooler in the butcher shop where our subject (owner and butcher Jason Pleym) butchers his locally grown beef.

NMAF: What was the editorial decision behind the font placement, particularly how the words “Getting Killed” are in bold?

Catherine: When we saw the image we knew immediately it would make a stunning cover. The raw meat is jarring and I love the intense eye contact of the butcher. The focus of the image was the butcher and the cutting board – it made sense to place the main cover line right below. We had to darken the image a bit below so the cover lines really popped. Bold image – bold cover line. Our editor at the time, Tom Gierasimczuck, came up with our compelling headline and together it made for a cover hard not to pick up.

NMAF: Can you explain the process of setting up the meat?

Catherine: Rather than set up and planned, it is a true environmental photograph. The story was about small independent food distributors and this fellow, a local beef producer and butcher, was busy at work when they arrived. The table was laid out with these beautiful (if you’re not a vegetarian) fresh cuts of meat and as soon as Ben walked in he saw an opportunity for a shoot that would be a stunning cover. They did a quick light setup while the butcher was at work.

 NMAF: There are many different kinds of local food producers. Why did the magazine choose someone in the meat industry?

Catherine: This local meat producer (and butcher) was the lead of our cover story – it made sense to choose him for the cover. Most often we spend so much time planning and executing our covers and so many times there are a lot of challenges along the way. When we saw the results from this shoot we put any cover plans on hold and ran with this beautiful ‘real’ and for the most part unplanned cover image.

NMAF: The colours on the cover are interesting, particularly how the man’s outfit contrasts the red meat. Was this intentional?

Catherine: I love the simplicity of the colours in this cover, the rest of the photo is pretty neutral. The meat is red, his apron was blue – perfect. Together the two primary colours look great together. Whenever I have an opportunity to have primary colours on the cover I do. I actually added a little pop of yellow in the ‘button’ so we have all three primary colours.

 

This interview was edited for content. Special thanks to Nadya Domingo for conducting the interview.

More ‘How Did They Create That Cover?’: Fashion Magazine, Toronto Life

Check out the finalists for best Magazine Cover on our Facebook page. Share your feedback with us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #MagazineCovers.

The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed on June 6 at the National Magazine Awards gala. [TICKETS]

See also:
Top 9 Infographics in Canadian Magazines
Top 6 Canadian Magazines for Art Direction
Top 10 Canadian Magazine Illustrations
Top Magazine Videos in Canada

 

How Did They Create That Cover? Toronto Life

The finalists for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced — including ten nominations in the Magazine Covers category.

In a new blog series titled How Did They Create That Cover? the NMAF chats with the creative directors of the Magazine Covers finalists about how their covers were made. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at things we may or may not think about when we pick up a magazine and devour its pages.

Today we chat with Christine Dewairy, art director at Toronto Life and creator of this nominated cover:

NMAF: Can you explain the process of choosing the child on the cover?

Christine Dewairy: Well, it had to be a mixed-race child, obviously.* But we also wanted to go in extremely close, and this little girl had such gorgeous skin, captivating eyes and lush curly hair. She was perfect. Also being about three years old, she was still in that very pure, sweet, innocent age.

*Editor’s Note: The cover story of this issue of Toronto Life, “Mixie Me” by Nicholas Hune-Brown, is also nominated for 2 NMAs this year.

NMAF: Did you always know that the image would only show a portion of the child’s face? 

Christine: No, but we did know it was a gatefold cover and that we’d need something on the flap. Showing only a portion of her face gave it impact and intimacy that would have been lost had the photo been more pulled back. I wanted the newsstand reader or passerby to be drawn in by the intense eye contact, and then the understated headline directly below.

Also, because the story wasn’t about this child in particular, but about a societal shift, by zooming in on the face, it becomes less about the person and more about the features — the eye, the hair, the skin, etc.

NMAF: Placing text on someone’s face is unique and unconventional for magazine covers. Did you have any hesitations about this? 

Christine: I didn’t want to lose the immediacy and impact of the larger-than-life face, to make room for the headline. The type becomes part of the image. You can’t look at one without absorbing the other simultaneously.

NMAF: Some might look at this cover and be immediately drawn to the child’s eye. In your opinion, what do you think is the focal point of this cover?

Christine: The viewer’s eye might wander at first, from the girl’s eye, to her lashes, her curls, and so on, but I think it’s impossible to just stop at the eye. Her features frame the type in such a way that marries the elements.

NMAF: What were some concerns and challenges when putting together this cover?

Christine: One question was how small you can go with the main sell, and how low you can place it on the page, and still draw people’s attention. We decided to keep it relatively small. I think sometimes a whisper can be louder than a shout, especially when you lay it on an enormously compelling image, like this one, and the words are super clear and unequivocal.

 

This interview was edited for content. Special thanks to Nadya Domingo for conducting the interview.

More ‘How Did They Create That Cover?’Fashion Magazine

Check out the finalists for best Magazine Cover on our Facebook page. Share your feedback with us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #MagazineCovers.

The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed on June 6 at the National Magazine Awards gala. [TICKETS]

How Did They Create That Cover? Fashion Magazine

The finalists for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced — including ten nominations in the Magazine Covers category.

In a new blog series titled How Did They Create That Cover? the NMAF chats with the creative directors of the Magazine Covers finalists about how their covers were made. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at things we may or may not think about when we pick up a magazine and devour its pages.

Today we chat with Eng Lau, art director at FASHION Magazine and creator of this nominated cover:

NMAF: Was it difficult to pick the final image of Miley?

Eng Lau: There are a few factors to consider when picking a cover image. Firstly, the energy of eye contact; will her look grab the attention if you are just browsing through the newsstand? Secondly, is there room for cover lines? We have to ensure that all cover lines are legible, in order to convey the content in the issue that would appeal to a wide range of readers. The image satisfied both counts, so no, it was not a difficult choice.

NMAF: How was the blue and red shadow effect achieved?

Eng: The red and blue shadow helps to create a 3-D effect, and [helps] make it pop against the plain white background. The shadow in the image is a result of a particular lighting effect used by the photographer. Colours are what make the image pop in an elegant way. You need just enough of a contrast, but it must still be stylish.

NMAF: There are certain words on the cover that are set in boldface red. Can you explain why these words were chosen specifically?

Eng: We highlighted certain words to create balance of the colours on the layout and to make it more dynamic.

NMAF: Miley is quoted on the cover (“Shocking is what I’m good at”). How was this quote chosen?

Eng: The editorial team looks over the article and selects a few outstanding quotes. We meet to look over the selections and see what works the best and fits into the space comfortably.

NMAF: With a cover like this, people’s attention might be immediately drawn to the celebrity. How do you draw their attention to the content as well as the image?

Eng: The strong image is what initially draws an individual to the magazine, and once they stop to look at it, we have to ensure that the cover lines are visually appealing as well as succinct and enticing to readers. Both image and text have to work in harmony to create a powerful and appealing cover, and we are very pleased to have received a National Magazine Awards nomination!

[This interview was edited for content. Special thanks to Nadya Domingo for conducting the interview.]

Check out the finalists for best Magazine Cover on our Facebook page. Share your feedback with us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #MagazineCovers.

The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed on June 6 at the National Magazine Awards gala. [TICKETS].

 

Off the Page, with Canada’s History editor Mark Reid

Off the Page appears regularly on the Magazine Awards blog. Today we catch up with Mark Reid, editor of Canada’s History, winner of the 2012 National Magazine Award for Words & Pictures.

NMAF: Canada’s History (formerly known as The Beaver) is one of this country’s oldest publications, six years away from its centennial. What do you consider the mandate of the magazine to be, and has this changed much in the past 94 years?

Mark Reid (Photo: Marianne Helm)

Mark Reid (Photo: Marianne Helm)

Mark: The mandate is to turn as many Canadians as possible on to their history, and to convince them that our stories are as interesting, entertaining and engaging as any other nation’s. This mandate has changed immensely over the years. In 1920, the magazine began as an in-house newsletter for the Hudson’s Bay Company. As years passed and the fur trade died, the magazine became more of a nostalgia magazine for the “days of yore” on the trap lines, telling stories of the Far North. By the in the 1980s, it had changed focus again, becoming increasingly a “history magazine.” And in 2010, we changed the name to reflect our current focus, going from “The Beaver” to “Canada’s History.”

NMAF: At last year’s National Magazine Awards Canada’s History won Gold in the category Words & Pictures, for “On Thin Ice,” an illustrated memoir of the 1972 Summit Series by Terry Mosher (a.k.a. Aislin), who covered the iconic event as a young political cartoonist. As an editor, what attracted you to this story? And what was the significance for you to have it win a National Magazine Award?

Mark: The ’72 Summit Series is a touchstone moment in our collective cultural history. This Cold War moment is one of a handful of “where were you when” turning points for a generation of Canadians. When I learned that Terry Mosher had travelled to Russia to cover the event as a cartoonist, I knew that we needed to share his story with our wider audience of history lovers.

I asked Terry to colourize the original cartoons he produced in 1972, and share the behind the scenes tales that inspired them. After viewing them, I realized that one cartoon was missing from the story – an image of Paul Henderson scoring the winning goal. Terry’s final cartoon, with Paul Henderson memorialized on a Canadian version of Mount Rushmore, was perfect.

On_Thin_Ice_39

The Canada’s History team was collectively thrilled to work with Terry’s fantastic art, and to share his story with Canadians. For the package to win a National Magazine Award was just icing on the cake — an exciting endorsement from our peers that we received with gratitude, and that we dedicate to everyone with a passion for the past.

NMAF: You recently launched a micro-site called Destinations. How did this project come about, and what do you hope to achieve? 

Mark: While Canada’s History is our flagship magazine, our History Society is engaged in myriad programs. Canada’s History Society is a small Winnipeg-based non-profit that also produces a kid’s history magazine, and runs a host of awards and educational programs for students, teachers and community groups.

Our Destinations site is the latest attempt to reach a new audience of history lovers, in this case, history lovers who combine this passion with travel. Our hope is to work with museums, archives, and tourist sites to help them share their stories with a wider audience. It’s all part of our multipronged approach to encouraging and strengthening interest in our collective past.

NMAF: 2014 figures to be a big year for Canada’s History, with the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War I on the minds of many Canadians. What do you think is the significance of this milestone for Canada, and can you tell us a bit about how the magazine will be covering the anniversary?

Mark: The start of WWI is certainly a huge part of our publishing plans. Our key publication will be a coffee-table book on the subject, titled Canada’s Great War Album. It will be published by HarperCollins Canada, and features essays on all aspects of the war by the country’s top historians and writers, along with photos and artifacts relating to the war that have been sent to us by our readers.

Our goal is to commemorate the courageous men, women and children who lived, loved, fought, served and sacrificed during that difficult time. It will be available for sale in the fall of 2014. On the magazine side, we are also working on a special package of articles that will examine not only WWI, but also WWII, which will mark the 75th anniversary of its start in September 2014. It’s an exciting time to be publishing history, and we look forward to bringing Canadians many more great articles and publications in the months and years to come.

Mark Reid is the editor-in-chief of Canada’s History magazine, published by the History Society in Winnipeg, which also publishes Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids. Follow them on Twitter @CanadasHistory and @MarkReidEditor.

More Off the Page interviews with NMA winners
Canada’s History in the National Magazine Awards archive
Submissions for the 37th National Magazine Awards

Images courtesy CanadasHistory.ca and National Magazine Awards Foundation.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,070 other followers

%d bloggers like this: