We made a magazine!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to present to you the new and improved Smoke Magazine for the University of Westminster’s Student Union!

After approximately nine weeks of planning, designing and sending a shedload of emails, things finally started to come together. The culmination of the magazine really happened in the last 48 hours before we went to print – where the editorial team went into lockdown and we basically pulled everything together into the finished magazine. As I said 11 weeks ago back in July (wow, how time flies) in my Smoke rebrand post, we had the huge task of taking a magazine – which was somewhat of a joke within our university and transform it into something of substance and quality. Thankfully we succeeded, and we have had amazing feedback from the people who put that trust in us, which means roll on issue two next year!

Unfortunately we don’t have a final PDF of the magazine, so instead I’ve scanned in some of the pages of the magazine that I personally designed and then a selection of others to show the overall look of the magazine. Sorry for the not so great quality!

I really enjoyed re-designing Smoke this summer, and I’m even more excited to get working on the next issue for January. There is nothing better than seeing something that you have created in print form. Being able to hold it in your hands and see other people appreciating it and enjoying it is a feeling of great accomplishment. I am yet to have a child, but I imagine it is a little bit like holding a newborn baby. Actually it’s probably nothing like that at all, but this is the closest I am to that feeling at this moment in my life, ha. It’s been about two weeks since the magazine was printed and already I have minor Indesign withdrawal symptoms. I’ve got so used to constantly having pages to layout and work on all summer and now it’s very calm with no real uni work at the moment.

Smoke at various stages
Smoke Magazine at various stages

This foray into designing has also made me think more about what direction I’d like to go in when I graduate. I think I prefer designing to writing, or the ‘art’ side over the text. I’m a very visual person so making a page from scratch and then seeing it in print form is more exciting than writing, although that is of course a great achievement too. I also like that you start with a blank page and the possibilities are limitless with what you can create. It’s also about the journey too, which I can show you with the contents page. It went from an initial idea of using a collage of 90’s covers as a background image, to a rough mock design, to the final version.

smoke coverscontsThanks or anyone who took the time to read this far and accept (or laugh at) my dorkyness towards magazines and design work. Hoping to apply over the next few months for design internships across London for some more practical and diverse experiences.. and god forbid maybe a flicker of hope for a job when I graduate… but that is a different story completely!


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