TalkAbout is a magazine for BYU-Idaho, with articles about school news, about school organizations, and, hence the name, about talks.
The logo features the “o” in “About” forming an arrow circling about.
The photos are bright, with a heavy, yellow emphasis to complement the blue logo, headers, mug and pen.
The magazine has a simple, 3 column layout with an image encompassing most of one column. A pen sits on the page, text wrapping around it.
The cover is meant to complement the main article, to inspire readers to record their testimony in their journal. This is emphasized by the journal, pens, and scriptures, yellow as the primary hue to promote that it can be a joyful experience.
The magazine itself is meant to be inspiring, yet informative, supporting one spiritually while helping them get involved with what makes BYU-Idaho unique.
The primary target audience is primarily students, both men and women about ages 18 to 26, though this range is meant to include all students. As the new BYU-I marketing initiative says, this university is “Student focused, by design.”
A secondary audience would be the professors, as they can benefit from spiritual edification and school news. This could range from men and women 30 to 70 years old, but once again, this could vary depending on the actual ages of professors.
I started by searching for a list of BYU-Idaho devotional transcript to be the highlighted article. After I found one that caught my eye, “Have You Documented Your Testimony,” I searched for images related to journals to use for my draft.
Due to time and logistic restrictions, I created my draft entirely with Google Slides. I found images, and used textboxes to create everything, except the arrows in the logo, which used the arc and triangle shapes. I created several rectangles at set dimensions to form margins. I modeled the design off of an article found in The Ensign magazine.
Click here for a PDF of the Magazine Draft.
I exported the logo from Google Slides to a Scalable Vector Graphic. InDesign does not support that file type, so I imported and saved it as an Adobe Illustrator file so I could place it in. I replicated my draft in InDesign, using the rule and guide tools to create margins and columns. I placed and sized the draft images until everything matched my draft.
I used the textbox overflow feature, which was incredible useful, something Google Slides lacks. Whenever I needed to adjust the text size or column size, the text would automatically flow into the columns as needed. I used Paragraph Styles to create the headers, a drop cap for the first paragraph, and slight indentation for the other paragraphs.
As suggested by my professor and my critique group, I removed several arrows from the logo to simplify it. I also created more interesting article headlines on the cover, aligning then with the bookmark ribbon using various sizes and combinations of my fonts.
I used my camera to take pictures resembling the images I used for my draft. I used Photoshop to greatly adjust each photo. I increased the brightness and saturation of all three photos. The color balance was very tricky, however.
I wanted the inside image of the open journal to match the cover. This required selecting the pen, inverting the selection, and ramping up the yellow and decreasing the red in the color balance. Surprisingly, this was the most time consuming part of the project, as it took much trial and error, as well as many uses of the spot-healing tool to fix the pen as I struggled to properly select it.
For the black pen sitting in the article, I used a layer mask to create a transparent image around the pen. I then placed the image and used the text-wrap tool to wrap based on the transparency (alpha channel).
Time for finishing touches, I used the spot-healing tool for many things. First and foremost, I used it to fix several distracting spots and imperfections in all three images. I also used it to create the left corner of the bookmark, as it was folded over in the original photo. Finally, I used it to refine the edges of the mug, which was affected horribly by noise that was making the image a very poor-quality appearance.
Top Thing Learned
Photoshop is incredible at quickly turning mediocre photos into pretty good ones, but it still requires skill and experience. No computer can optimize an image quite as well as an experienced Photoshop user can, because little details, and an understanding of the context take thought, precision, and, most importantly, time.
Quicksand (Sans-serif): Logo “About”
Robot Slab (Serif. Light, Regular, Bold): Logo “Talk”, body copy, parts of article highlights
Roboto (Sans-serif. Thin, Light, Regular, Medium, Black): Article title, description, author, headers, page number, issue number, date, parts of article highlights.