Magazine Design - Upsala Nationsblad (UNB)
Classy and Simplistic
Although not a commercial magazine, designing UNB was a fun ride with its own sets of challenges.

It started with my friend Cecilia calling me up one day, telling me the good news of her being appointed editor of the magazine. What she then told me was that it was not until afterwards it had dawned on her that she was also expected to do the layout . And that she was a complete newbie to everything InDesign.

"No worries, I'll gladly help", said I, and the following days I sat down and began sketching out a design. There were a few things to consider. First and foremost, student magazines tend to have very little budget for printing. That ruled out colour; black-and-white was the way to go.

Second, the design had to be simple enough to be copied by someone new to layout work. Much of that was solved by creating template text fields, along with some predefined graphical assets and paragraph styles. Typography was chosen with this in mind; Frutiger and Eagle are used extensively. These are fonts that both have a strong visual expression. Frutiger, a humanegrotesque, looks great (almost) everywhere but becomes outright stylish when mixing bold and light weights. Eagle has an obvious retro feel which makes a headline look almost like an illustration in itself.

Thirdly, there was the ever-persistent matter of image quality. People do voluntary, unpaid work for this magazine, so inevitably there will be pictures taken by cell-phone cameras and the like. The black-and-white actually helps here; by having an otherwise rather strict, almost minimalistic design, the pictures, even though at times grainy and out of focus, brings in an arty feel that by sheer contrast adds up to a coherent and appealing look.