Design Overhaul Launched by Big Issue Scotland

The Big Issue in Scotland magazine has today launched a design overhaul, marking the occasion with a Halloween special edition containing an exclusive short horror story from best-selling British author, Anthony Horowitz.

The new look was designed by the magazine’s creative director Mark Neil, Scotland’s magazine designer of the year for the last two years. It is, says editor Paul McNamee, a necessary evolution.

Says McNamee: “The challenge is to create a magazine that continues to offer the reader, and the vendor, more and more. We decided we needed to simplify things and improve legibility – to make The Big Issue in Scotland an easier magazine to navigate. It is a necessary progression. The magazine continues to be a great read, week in week out. This week the Horowitz story is a real coup and incredibly collectible.

“We wanted to simplify things, to concentrate on content and to increase white space. Readers will see this from the contents page right through to the final page.”

The weekly magazine is published on a Monday. 

Adds McNamee: “Readers favourite features like the ‘Letter To My Younger Self’ have been tidied up. The reviews section has been simplified and we’ve given additional focus to the ‘Boxed Off’ feature. The vendors view, a very popular page at the back of the book in which a vendor simply tells their story, has also been adjusted.

“It’s great working with a talented designer like Mark Neil who understands what is needed and can make it happen. I hope readers enjoy the changes, which I think makes it a better magazine to move through.”

The changes have also been implemented in the magazine's Welsh edition.

Technically, margins have increased, allowing more white space and space at the top of pages for easy navigation. Grids are more consistent for each section.

The pages now have a consistent visual identity with the use of rules and margins. Says the magazine: “Editorial pages needed a strong identity to set them apart from ad pages and improve navigation. We also introduced a wider use of graphical items such as pointing balloons and arrows, to further engage the reader.”

Along with the now established custom version of the font, Taz – 'TazBigIssue' – the magazine has worked with its Berlin-based font suppliers, LucasFonts, to display a new serif font, Floris. 

Continued the magazine: “For sections, we wanted to keep the fun nature we had with our font, Taz, but add more maturity. We've introduced a new decorative font, from Sudtipos, called Theorem. A playful script face that builds on our irreverent but intelligent identity and complements our two font families. We also hope to utilise this face in in-house advertising for the magazine.

“Again, our colour palette was simplified for visual impact. Red is used in all sections. It is not only the company's signature colour but a logical choice for a news and arts magazine's identity. Colour is used more freely in the features. This will set our sections apart and again improve the navigation.”

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