Garden & Gun: Soul of the South

I’ve talked about (aka Facebooked, Tweeted and Instagramed about) writing a piece on Garden & Gun magazine for a long time. So finally here it is. It is worth the read.

First I would like to point out that it is an extreme rarity that I find a publication that I am 100% IN LOVE with in every single way. Partly because I love things that I feel are beyond my reach as a designer. It makes me strive that much more to be a success.

I first found Garden & Gun in the fall of 2011 (far too late if you ask me). I was taking my last magazine class at UF (University of Florida in Gainesville) and my professor pulled a handful of magazines out of her tote, as she did every week. She went through each magazine identity one by one and then passed them around the class for us to get a better look. The title threw me off at first, but now it makes more sense that ever.

Garden & Gun felt different in my hands. From the stock of the paper, the look and feel of the cover and as I thumbed through the pages, my dreams and goals as a designer flipped right in front of my eyes.

About G&G: Garden & Gun launched its first issue in 2007. The magazine won three ADDY Awards and eight Magazine Association of the Southeast GAMMA awards in its first year, while being named the nation’s second-hottest magazine launch in 2007 by MIN Magazine.  Since its launch, the magazine has won several National Magazine Awards and has proved that a southern focused, glossy regional magazine can  more than thrive in the iPad app era.

From its hometown of Charleston, S.C., Garden & Gun serves up a bimonthly magazine full of Southern hospitality that attracts a readership so devoted that many of them pay an extra $500 a year just to be a part of its “secret society.” And what do said members receive? A weekend tote bag, a decal and, like an invitation to the lavish wedding of a distant but admired relative, the opportunity to spend another $5,000 to attend an annual weekend retreat with the magazine’s writers, editors and contributors at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.

Design (my favorite part):
The design choices that are made from issue to issue continues to surprise and impress. The photography is outstanding and vivid. The layout is fresh and clean. The color palettes seems to be carefully chosen for the season and issue. Overall the design pieces fit together intricately like pieces of the most difficult puzzle.

Content: Garden & Gun is a portrait of Southern life at its finest. It covers the best of the South, including the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people and their ideas. Stories are adventure-bound, art-loving and full of Southern tradition and values.

Audience: Since its first issue back in 2007, the title has developed a devoted following of Southerners who appreciate the perfect mint julep, a new pecan pie recipe, deer and duck hunting in Mississippi and shooting some skeet on a chilly Sunday in Novemeber. It’s a regional publication to its very core but, in recent years, the magazine has also landed on the coffee tables of New York-based editors.

Growth: While all the congratulatory praise might seem hyperbole, the numbers back up the staff’s pride. Readers are all over the country, although about 65 percent is centered in the South. Garden & Gun initially had 19,000 paid subscribers back in 2007 around its launch, with a rate base of 150,000, and has since grown to over 173,000 paid subscriptions, with a rate base of about 225,000. A subscription for six issues per year costs around $20.

Awards (all awards since launch):

2013
ASME Best Cover Contest, “Most Delicious” cover for Oct/Nov 2012 issue
2012
MIN Editorial  & Design Awards, Winner – Photojournalism Award, “The Call of the Hunt”
ASME, National Magazine Award Nominee, General Excellence:
ASME, National Magazine Award Nominee, Single Topic Issue Category
ASME, Best Sporting Cover, Finalist

2011
Advertising Age’s 2011 Magazine A-List
ASME, National Magazine Award WINNER, General Excellence: Food, Travel & Design
James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

2010
Grand GAMMA Award
MIN Magazine, Best of the Web

2009
ASME Best Lifestyle Cover of the Year Finalist

2008
ADDY Awards (3)
PRWEB Top 20 Hottest Publications to Watch in 2008

2007
MIN Magazine, 2nd Hottest Launch
MIN Magazine, Top Editorial Team
Advertising Age’s Magazine Covers We Loved

Resources:

Garden & Gun

Women’s Wear Daily

Off the Cuff

Advertisements

Designing for a Good Cause: Design vs Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. So first, here is a little info about breast cancer.
Women – keep yourself informed, get your check-ups and always be aware. It is a little bit lengthy, BUT keep reading! It is worth it the knowledge!

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2013

Here is the best part!!!
This is a GREAT WAY to design for breast cancer awareness month and REALLY make a difference.
Design Gear for a Good Cause: Design vs Cancer founded by FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) Graphic Design Alumnus launching soon!
dvcSocial
Their Mission: Helping Families Fight Cancer

“Almost all of us have been affected by a family member or friend who has had cancer. One of the toughest struggles during this time is the family finances as patients and spouses have to limit or stop working during this time. We want to help those families pay for treatments, pay rent, put food on the table, get a new backpack for their children, or anything else they might need. The Design Community is taking a stance in the fight against cancer. We will be selling premium quality goods, and the profits will go fully towards directly impacting families during their fight as well as cancer research. We’d love for you to sign up for our newsletter and learn more about our cause and the passion behind it!”

Please contact them if you have any questions and/or want to get involved with the cause!

Branding/Package Design: The London House of Coffee by Reynolds and Reyner

Through my experience in design I have done very little package design. In efforts to stay versatile. I research and play around with services in the field that I don’t get a lot of exposure to. Which leads me to the branding and packaging the London House of Coffee, designed by Reynolds and Reyner.

Reynolds and Reyner is a design studio in the Ukraine who’s philosophy is rooted in the true power of design. They design with the belief  that it is less about making high quality brand experiences and more about the process at which they engage in, to create a real relationship between our brands and their consumers. Go and check them out at their website.

Branding is important to any new product, company, service, etc. Branding is a true everlasting identity. Products have life cycles but branding outlives products. Meanwhile packaging also plays an important role as a medium in the marketing mix, in promotion campaigns, as a pricing criterion, in defining the character of new products, as a setter of trends and as an instrument to create brand identity and shelf impact in all product groups.

Here is a look at the branding and packaging of the London House of Coffee. You can really see how true Reynolds and Reyner stayed to the process and how their ideas and project evolved.

Sketches

Branding

Packaging

The London House of Coffee

london-60pck

london-34pk copy

Advertising

london-future_ads

Overall a very good example of the stages of creating effective branding and package design. Please check out Reynolds and Reyner’s website.

RETRO Designs Are the New Trend…

Using retro themed design elements is the latest trend in graphic design. Retro designs can be characterized by period icons, vivid graphics and pale colors.

Although I’ve noticed this trend in layout design as well as advertising and logo design, I’ve chosen to include images of logos particularly.

Why the New Trend?

I believe retro designing interweaves time, styles, tastes and ages. Mixing modern graphics with old designs helps to create a vintage appeal. People often associate “value” with old things. While value element helps draw in visitors, the  modern design elements help keep them hooked. Maybe the fact that a lot of us think that life was much more simple “back then” has something to do with the design’s popularity. Perhaps retro and vintage designs take us back to a place where life was much more relaxed than it is today.

Design Elements to Retro Design

Retro designing has several elements are often repeated. Handwritten scripts are very popular. Some designers use old cars, retro product models, old fashioned photographs, early electronic devices and other such old images for creating retro look.  Some designs reflect the celebration of sixties to space travel while others prefer to highlight post-war optimism and ad campaigns of ‘50s. The use of military themes like old war planes and badges are also very effective. There are certain elements that contribute in making a design retro.

Here are some examples:

1. Using Shapes

Vintage Labels-Wallace_05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Color Schemes

VintageColourPalette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Typography

type

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Textures

textures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So whether using these retro elements in designing is an attempt to bring back the memories of past or just to keep up with the trend – either way the outcome can be quite eye catching. When a designer purposely develops an old design and blends it with a modern appeal, we get true retro effect.

A New Look for that Special Day…

There are few projects that prove to be more difficult that the wedding invitation. This is for the “perfect day” and everything needs to be spot on.

Not only does it need to be effective and notify the guests of the information for the wedding but it also needs to portray the “personality” of the couple’s relationship, which often is the tricky part.

In most of my research, I’ve came across the more traditional wedding invitation designs, which is great for some. But for those brides who are looking for the more modern and edgy design, the more traditional looks don’t cut it.

I’m working on a current wedding project which includes the invitation, wedding program, guest book, engagement and wedding photo book, table name cards, photo powerpoint presentation, and keep sake items. The wedding is next year in the Spring but with the amount of items to design, my research starts now!

I found an article about wedding invitations particularly on Designer Daily’s blog that really gave me some ideas on a NEW LOOK for the special day! They proved to be effective with tons of personality.

Check them out!

Covering Tragedy…

It seems now more than ever that tragedy finds ways to repeat itself. The past several years of these devastating events have Americans fearful for their lives every day. For those of us who were so lucky to have not been a victim, we find ourselves grateful that our families and loved ones weren’t involved, yet ironically we search for details, images, videos and tapes to get us closer to the truth. It is almost as if we would’ve wanted to be there every second along the way. Well one thing is for sure, we want the whole story with as much coverage and as many evocative images as possible.

When magazines cover tragedies there is a fine line between appearing insensitive and being mindful of those involved and their families. The following slideshow features covers about tragedy. Different techniques were used and some are more effective than others.

If these covers bring feeling, emotions and memories to mind, then they work! Kuddos.

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Rue Mag = Your Everything Modern Chic Guide

My newest magazine discovery and obsession. This lifestyle magazine specializes in everything modern chic, including fashion and home décor.

The layout is clean, fresh, simple and to the point. Colors are vibrant, cool yet explosive. Photography speaks for itself  and tells the story meanwhile articles are short yet informative.

Check out Rue Magazine at www.ruemag.com