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22 Feb 2017   admin

Editorial design in a crisis

We’re all drowning in media and information but what seems to be lacking is perspective and filters. If we get our news and views from mainstream media (especially TV), what are we missing out on? Three things: objectivity, perspective and those ‘a-ha’ moments that happen when editorial design impacts your life in a meaningful way.

Editorial design can be described as a combination of typography, layout design and compositions. This forms part of graphic design as a whole but focuses mainly on design for publications such as newspapers, magazines and books.

Small publishing houses have carried the banner of editorial design in recent years and their brave refusal to conform has kept many flames alight. Now, however, we face a bigger dilemma that is even more alarming than the slow decline of editorial design – a lack in the practice of being properly informed.

Recent votes in the UK and USA have made a mockery of conventional wisdom. Whether people voted to leave or remain, twist or burn; everyone has an obligation now, to be better informed, to be current and to be ready to participate in narratives that may not toe the line of accepted truths.

Whatever your own beliefs, wherever you stand on the rainbow spectrum of ideologies or whatever side of the bowl of politics soup you slurp from – now is the time to support the publications which you believe matter. Whether it’s a newspaper, magazine or a website; if you want its voice to be heard in an increasingly clamorous world, you need to put your money toward them.

By supporting alternative voices, you are also inadvertently – but importantly – supporting editorial design and shaping its future. The future of new graphic design ideas and the content that goes with them. The hope is that small, fringe publications will gain traction and be able to contribute to the debates that need to happen.

Whether your cause is climate change, LGBTQIA+ rights, or migration – you will read a lot on various issues this year but how tedious – and dangerous – it could be, if you only read one voice. You wouldn’t listen to the same album on repeat all year, or eat breakfast at the same café 365 times in a row; so why risk getting information or perspective from only one source?

2017 will be the year when variety becomes not just the spice of life but essential to its maintenance. There has never been a time when other voices needed to be heard so urgently. How can these alternative voices get noticed? How can they participate in conversations that others are trying to stifle? This is where editorial design comes in.

If you’re wavering or merely experiencing the first gnawing doubts that we may all have taken a colossally wrong turn in how we express these different views, then open your eyes and look around you for exciting examples of editorial design.

Look for magazines in different formats, that have been cut or folded into different shapes. Look for websites that encompass fresh perspectives on graphic design, multimedia and content integration. Or simply look at a new book cover and consider the thought process behind the choice of typography or visual design. Why? Well, the chances are these creative editorial designs will go hand-in-hand with other forms of intelligent expression.

If that much thought and energy has gone into the physical product, the skeleton; then imagine how much more would be poured into its soul: the content and the arguments that it advocates.

Editorial design is in crisis but this is only true if we choose not to explore its different forms of media and various avenues of information and perspectives.



11 Apr 2017   dfm

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11 Apr 2017   dfm

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