I am currently the creative director for a small publishing company in the city of Ocala in North Central Florida. We run an extremely modest operation out of an old Victorian house in the city's historic district. As members of the Florida Magazine Association (FMA), we attended their annual conference last week showcasing our new issue of Ocala Magazine. It generated a lot of discussion during the conference based not only on what we did, but how little we spent to do it. I know we are just a tiny magazine, but since magazines big and small are struggling with budgets, I thought it was worth sharing...
For this issue, the idea was simple enough; don't just do an issue about water, do a water-logged issue. Without a budget, we accomplish this using a local girl who modeled for the experience, hair and make up donated by a local salon and approximately $40 worth of stock photography.
The comp, based on rough sketches, was made to discuss with my team how (or if) we could execute this. Once satisfied we could do it, I got the publisher's buy-in.
The original photo picked from the shoot. We also hosed down old magazines and sheets of paper (letting them warp in the sun). The surfaces and folded edges were then shot to be combined in photoshop with the model.
This shows the cover in process. At this point we were experimenting with what water does to ink and paper and what that might look like.
The final cover. Here we added the cover lines which were used on this cover more as a design element (say buh-bye readability). We also added some stock photography (and our only expenses) for the many water drops.
And now for the feature from the issue...
The original idea for this story was a dramatic Sopranos-type group shot -- only completely drenched with water. They weren't willing to do that (big surprise), but more so, they wouldn't even agree to be photographed. Instead, they provided standard PR head shots (of the Sears portrait variety). That's when I decided they deserved to drown! We put this opener together using just the provided photos and about $50 worth of stock photography for the water, floating hair and ties.
Here are the original supplied PR photos in all their Sears portrait glory:
This is the rough comp assembled from the PR shots combined with low resolution stock of water and shapes rough cut in InDesign served as the blueprint.
This shows the spread in process. At this point, all the floating elements (ties and hair) are finished. Additionally, we pushed the shadows as much as possible, giving it a more dramatic mood. Now we begin work on the water layers.
The final spread. The PR shots didn't quite allow us to achieve the drama of the high contrast Sopranos posters that helped inspire this, but then again -- does this look anything like a Sears portrait?
The Ocala team includes:
art direction/design :: Jamie Ezra Mark
photoshop :: Josh Clark
photography :: Djamel E. Ramoul
hair+make up :: James Rich
model :: Megan Moyer
writer :: John Sotomayor
Hey! You've probably got some NEW WORK to share, and we want to see it! We'll welcome anything that's gone to the printer recently, something you're especially proud of and think might be inspiring to the membership and readers of Grids. We'll note the credits and the publication and shine a little light on the latest and greatest in publication design.
Please reduce your layouts to no larger than 1200 pixels wide and don't forget to include all relevant credits and a little background (if you feel like). Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post them as we get them.
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