As part of the festival of art and journalism at the London College of Communication I attended a panel discussion led by three editors of print magazines. My first question was whether the layout of the pages in formulaic or intuitive. This question was posed at the end of the session, so despite it being my first thought, many other points were made before the answer was heard and so enriching my understanding.
The beginning of the discussion explored the type of imagery used and the reasoning behind this, whether it be accessibility, storytelling or representation of facts. They also touch upon the audiences they were appealing to and the ethos their magazine followed.
I was particularly interested in the magazine, ‘Accent’, which tells stories of people living lives outside the ordinary. The text was often a very direct dialogue with the subject creating a very personal approach where the stories are tangible. The imagery can be archival, giving an experience very directly connected to the text. The colour scheme also reflected the traditional colours of Kodiak which was from the time of the archive. These little hints of meaning create the profound impression I got from the page they displayed. I really liked the idea of inspiring people to live outside the ordinary.
The answer to my question at the end was that there are devised plans when it comes to layout and I got the impression it was an art in itself. A few months ago I attended Ammal’s workshop on digital design. I learnt there are rules in accordance with the psychology of our focus and attention. In the past I have taken part in a marketing survey attempting to gage how people would instinctively interact with an app in accordance with the appeal of the layout.
Combining both of these events, my conclusion is that the material can speak in a more powerful way if presented well and if the material itself has a strong appeal. An idea which captures the imagination and images which do the same.