Branding | Print | Interaction

In the digital age, it's important for magazines and newspapers to make the jump over to applications. Continuum is a new age magazine focusing in on sharing up and coming news in fields such as science, technology, culture, and more.

Refining & Developing Brand

Continuum was developed to as a rebrand of The Smithsonian magazine. The new branding standards were created to exemplify the continued pursuit of knowledge. This is represented pretty obviously in the wordmark through the use of the infinity symbol. I also carried the main thought through my typefaces and color palette.

The sans serif Futura typeface is open, professional, and great for reading on the web while Museo is slightly more rounded and unique. The combination of two sans serif typefaces is generally unorthodox, but these two work together to create a unique and consistant feel to the magazine and site.

I kept my brand colors very loose. They fall more on the unsaturated side and provide a sleek and open feel to the brand. The palette also allows for more to be added in, continuing with the idea of the pursuit of knowledge.

Print Magazine Layouts

One of the main problems that I found while researching magazine layouts, is that many of the ads within mimicked the look and feel of the article. This made it hard to distinguish between what was immediately relevant to me versus what was being sold to me.

I tackled this problem by creating two different spreads with two dominant personalities; full photo spreads with type interacting with imagery and type heavy layouts that generate interest through the headline and a two column grid. 

Much to the chagrin of anyone creating content for the magazine, the index lies only on the inside of the book. There is no extra information on the front cover other than the topic of that month's articles. This was a strategic move to generate curiousity and entice readers to open the magazine to learn more.

Digital Application Layout & Planning

Planning and implementation of brands on a digital platform is one of my favorite parts of design. It's an exciting mix of research, analytics, layout, and typography. For this project, I focused on what could be done differently from the current market.

Print Magazine Layouts

As I wireframed, I kept the idea of connecting with friends and other readers in mind. This is an untapped market in magazine applications. The first step to this is login capabilities through social media accounts such as Facebook and Google.

After logging in, users are able to get a brief overview of friends' articles and unfinished articles. These were both fueled by personal experience with magazine applications. I'm more likely to read articles that my friends or family have shared on social media. As for the unfinished articles, life's busy. I'm notorious for starting an interesting article and leaving then forgetting to finish it. I'll come back weeks later and be grumpy with myself for not finishing it!

When users move to search they're able to filter through articles. Search, articles by genre, and articles by rank. Users are also able to save articles and enjoy staff recommended favorites. Much like many magazine applications, I also designed for a user profile.

Users are able to looks at the statistics of what they've been reading such as which article genres they read most, likes, comments, and shares. You're also able to view your friends' statistics from their public profile.

Building in Sketch

The final step of the process was to create my wireframes in sketch and apply brand standards. This is a quick look at the overall look and feel of the site. 

Kat Fenton | Cincinnati, OH | fentonke@mail.uc.edu

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Kathryn Fenton