Produce a new collectable independent magazine responding to the theme of ‘fact or fiction’. The exposition can discuss notions of culture, music, art, politics, or identity and influences in the wildest, most creative sense, considering the greater aspects of meaning and truth. You are challenged to produce outcomes that push the boundaries of magazine design and production.

For this project we chose to create a magazine about Frank Olsons’ death and his sons lifelong mission to find the truth about his fathers unexpected death. Frank Olson was a biological  bacteriologist for the governments biological warfare program during the cold war. The fact or fiction aspect is whether he ‘fell’ or ‘jumped’ out of a hotel room window. The CIA claims he committed suicide but this was later revealed to be false. 

For this project we chose to create a magazine about Frank Olsons’ death and his sons lifelong mission to find the truth about his fathers unexpected death. Frank Olson was a biological  bacteriologist for the governments biological warfare program during the cold war. The fact or fiction aspect is whether he ‘fell’ or ‘jumped’ out of a hotel room window. The CIA claims he committed suicide but this was later revealed to be false. 

We chose to do the magazine in a large newspaper format. This is due to Eric Olson starting to question the CIA’s integrity after a newspaper article revealed that his fathers cause of death might have been lied about by the CIA. Furthermore this makes the magazine more experimental and different from the conventional magazine.

I got inspiration from this newspaper called Überzeitung – Eine Liebeserklärung by Wolfgang Landauer.

This newspaper is very unconventional using 11 columns. This allows text to stick to a grid whilst still looking like it is random and experimental. I wanted to incorporate this idea as the articles discuss how the truth that Eric Olson knew about his father was actually a lie. The CIA didn’t stick to the rules and ran convert operations to experiment with germ warfare and mind control. Furthermore Frank Olson was drugged with LSD and became paranoid, he was viewing the CIA in a different, warped light that is represented in the experimental layout.

This creative typography was inspired by Frank Olson saying ‘I have made a mistake’ to his wife after being drugged with LSD and learning about the MK-ULTRA program. The distortion is meant to represent the fear and paranoia Olson experiences as he realises his life is in danger.

I enjoyed this project. Working with the photographers was a good experience as this team work is used in the industry. I feel like this project is a bit of a ‘marmite’ magazine. Whilst some would see it as experimental others would see it as a poor piece of design. I used an  11 column grid, this makes it look like I have placed text and image randomly. It seems to disobey some rules of graphic editorial design. This could either be seen as an experimental magazine or a poorly designed magazine. I know that you need to understand the rules before you break them, and I haven’t been doing graphics for very long. However since this isn’t a ‘conventional’ magazine, I believe it is important to push the boundaries to learn what can be successful and what is not.

I have learnt many things about the importance of reprinting and checking everything is correct before sending the news paper to print. I did not know about changing RGB images to CMYK or the importance of size and resolution of images. I also learnt about type setting, widows, hierarchy, and spacing between lines. All of these factors help create an article that is easier to read.

In this project i learnt about ‘preflight’ mode in indesign, this helped me spot any images that where the wrong resolution or not converted to CMYK. I also learnt how the paper stock can effect the images used. I had to brighten the images as news paper would have blended the dark areas into black.

For editorial work, I am aware I have much to improve on. I still struggle with text hierarchy and concepts such as ‘widows’ and ‘rivers’.  But I think that this magazine has helped me understand the importance of text and grids, guides, spacing, and balance. I really enjoy editorial design and whilst I may not be able to create a piece like this in industry, I am aware that this is an area of the graphic design I wish to explore. I hope in the future to create another piece of editorial work and see how these new skills I have learnt would improve the outcome of it.

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