FILTERmagazine has been my only priority since about October last year. Tasked with making a zine for an unserved audience, the FILTER team and I created, what I think, is one of the most gorgeous magazines I’ve ever laid eyes upon.
Okay, maybe not the most gorgeous, but it’s up there. I’d say that though, because I did make it. The design, content, audience targeting, we did the whole lot. And I’m incredibly proud of us.
A thought-provoking quarterly ‘bookazine’ exploring the culture of the modern, Instagramming city-goer, providing an insight into food, arts and everything only the most photogenic cities have to offer.
It took hours and hours of work. Sourcing, subbing, mood boards, brainstorming in little London cafe’s which ended up influencing our work heavily, so much so we wanted to create a magazine for the culture of Instagram obsessed, Flat White drinking, Quinoa shovelling yoga-bunnies who live in leafy Notting Hill in their stunningly minimal flat. Sound like you? Didn’t think so.
It’s not me, either.
But that’s the style. It’s a captivating entertainer, witty, confrontational, confident, questionable because it doesn’t really fit any norms. It’s new, and that’s a difficult task, to create something new that needs to stand the test of time – which is increasingly more prevalent as the magazine industry goes on it’s spiralling decline.
As the title of this post says, this is about making a magazine. The thing I’ve learnt is, is that you need more than just technical talent or an idea. You need a bit of passion and belief, too. Of course the techy stuff helps, and God knows we spent hours on Photoshop and InDesign…
Making a magazine
Fulfil a need and supply a demand. There are hundreds of unique bookazines out there – wonderland, Jungle, cereal… But it’s the audience you target, the material you cover and the overall package that makes it different. Why do you choose Esquire over GQ? Because you like the style, the writing, how it talks to you. At FILTER, it’s all about including the reader. Satisfy a need that the reader doesn’t realise they want, yet.
Mood boards & brainstorming is key. You might think you know what you want to write about, but you don’t. You have no idea. Think what needs to be covered to make your magazine stand out and then go out and do your research. 8 times.
Labour of love. Stick with your magazine and keep enhancing everything. We’ve printed FILTER and by no means is it perfect, because you start loving it and then you’ll constantly flaw it. But you can definitely aim to create something you love. There were night where we pushed lines up and down, moved a box 1mm over, and that really mattered. Picky? That’s an understatement.
Making your magazine a real product is hard. It’s hard because you need to find a printer you trust (and ours was… difficult), you need to get your head around paper and ink qualities, and decide exactly what you want for your magazine. At FILTER we believe that good paper creates a good experience for the reader, so there’s more to it than just words on a page.
The final product is a proud moment. When we finally got the magazines in our hands we were bowled over by the work we’d created. We loved our use of white space (this is an amazing tool), we finally saw how the words looked on the page – a big hunk of essay on Instagram superficialness placed next to a full-page image of one of London’s most beautiful temples. Hard work pays off.
So, FILTER. You aren’t that IT-GIRL from Notting Hill, but you are definitely someone who would pick this up – if you read primalguise, you read FILTER. We’ve put passion and artistic love into this publication at great cost (mostly our sanity). I’m incredibly proud of what we have created and I look forward to taking this forward, potentially, in the months and years to come.