Student work at Tyler School of Art + Architecture
Art Direction: Jason Kernevich
Skills: brand identity, layout, and copy
Chromatic–Surround Yourself in Color
Chromatic is a proposed collector-quality magazine where each issue focuses on a different color. This brand seeks to be a lifestyle for all things color-related, with the magazine being the flagship product. The deliverables include a logo/masthead, four cover designs, one fully designed issue, art prints, and tote bags.
The process for Chromatic began with lots of research on color, its history, and usage. This research led to the development of the core sections: pop culture, art/design, Plein air, and color palettes. These sections use typography, layout, imagery, and copy to give the reader a comprehensive and beautifully designed look at just one color.
Since blue is the most popular color, issue one of Chromatic focuses on cerulean blue—a deep blue in color like a sky. The magazine uses these keywords to guide the design: unique, beautiful, and quality.
Currently, no other mainstream art magazine focuses on a single color in each issue. This project was an opportunity to be creative and think outside the box from the typical regularly published magazine. This includes the content and the actual production/look of it.
Sketches & Style Tile
Once I had the idea for the magazine, I began listing and sketching to figure out the scope including the name, sections, and content ideas. Then, I made a style tile to plan out the typography, photography, and colors in order to maintain a cohesive look throughout.
The masthead for Chromatic features a gradient of the issue’s color like an HSB (hue/saturation/brightness) color scale. The use of the HSB scale is a nod to what the magazine is about, and it gives the viewer a sneak preview.
The masthead placement in the left third was to increase the magazine’s visibility on shelves. The decision to set the font small is different from other alternative magazines, and it also juxtaposes the large scale text inside.
The inside pages use some repeating elements to main cohesion throughout such as the large-scale typography, rectangle gradient running head, coloring cerulean each time it’s used, and unique body text treatments. Although the magazine is primarily design, there is information so that the experience is enriching. I wrote most of the copy and did so in a playful tone because I wanted to step away from the often pretentious nature of art/design magazines.
The risograph-like art prints are printed as a little booklet in the middle of the magazine. It’s a zine within a magazine. The prints serve as a unique break from the magazine’s content and help maintain interest. The tote bags use some of the designs, and they would become a collector-type item since the bags would change every issue.