Client: Fragments Literary Arts Magazine
Location: Seattle, WA
Challenge: How does a contemporary designer take a stance of modesty in their design? What makes a printed work appear humble? These were questions stirring through my head and it posed a new approach to my design thinking.
Process: I spent a lot of time looking at archived prints of Fragments Magazine. This gave me a starting place for how people experienced Fragments in the past. The first thing I noticed was the small margin space. This often caused readers to place their thumb over text just to hold the book open; it also caused text to get lost in the book gutter. The last thing I noticed was the preferential use of san-serif fonts for both the body and headings.
Solution: I mediated all these obstacles threefold: with a systematic page layout, keen typeface selection, and contemporary calligraphy. I employed a golden ratio proportioned layout derived from teachings of historic bookmakers from Gutenberg to Jan Tschichold. To bring home a sense of tradition and pay homage to the origins of writing, I hand-crafted the fragments logo, edition title, and issue number with a broad edge pen.
Results: Fragments issue no. 58 was very well received by the artists who contributed and the readers who supported our production. The design system I developed was so well admired by the English Department head and editorial staff that the template continued to be used for later editions of Fragments.