Updated: May 4, 2021
In this week's lecture, Susanna was in conversation with Angharad Lewis, who is a visual culture editor and author and has also worked as a writer and contributor to journals. Angharad mentioned that she has a strong interest in verbal and visual communication.
The conversation then went into a discussion of grafik magazine which began in the 1980s under the name Hot Graphics which then became Hot Graphics International, then Graphics International (in the early-mid 90s), and eventually grafik magazine in 2003. When talking about the various name changes to the magazine Anghared described how the change was in response to design and graphic design and as independent studios were being set up Graphics International felt too broad.
At this time, grafik was very well known for its art direction and collaboration with other studios. In 2005, Anghared bought 1/3 of grafik along with Caroline Roberts, who became the editor with Anghared becoming staff writer and deputy editor. Angharad described their working relationship to be very collaborative.
In around 2014 grafik, along with many other publications, went online as it was getting harder to compete with the changing industry, costs, and retailers such as Borders Bookshop (one of the biggest sellers of grafik) closing. Although Angharad mentioned grafik was never about making money, it was a combination of these factors and a slow drop in revenue from advertisers that meant grafik head to change platform.
It isn't surprising that grafik, along with many other publications, continue to shift onto an online platform as consumer habits have changed significantly over the past ten/twenty years. I remember being a paperboy (my first job) around sixteen years ago and having to lug around two bulging bags filled with newspapers and various other publications on wet winter days with the paper often getting wet and ripping as I pushed it through the letterbox. I realise I'm not romanticising print publications here but it's incredible how much has changed in such a short amount of time. I used to subscribe to Simpsons comics that would arrive fortnightly (or maybe monthly) and the anticipation would be huge. When the time drew nearer I'd constantly be asking the shop keeper if they had it in yet. As mentioned in the lecture, print has peoples attention differently, by being online you're reaching a much bigger audience but for much a shorter period.
It was great to get Angharad's advice in writing and putting a publication together through this lecture too. Below are some of my notes on this.
Words Before Design, When Writing...
Know your theme well
Know your view (although this could happen within the writing process)
Pace, rhythm, and a point (beginning, middle, and end)
Go through a few drafts
(Writing) "Is a really important skill for designers to be able to articulate and write about their subject"
Process of Writing
Select subject (content?publication?)
How does it relate to the content?
Content-sets the shape for the article
Plan (well) and know your subject but have something you need to find out.
Be prepared to go off-piste
Listen, really listen
Know when to stop if you feel the interview is going in a slightly redundant direction
A Fruitful Exploration Of The Pineapple (Essay)
First Draft Edit
It was interesting learning about how grafik magazine has evolved over the years, adapting to new trends and ways of thinking. A lot has changed over the past 20 years, across many media disciplines, not just publishing, and this has altered how we consume media, and in this instance, magazines. It was also mentioned how our attention spans have become a lot shorter and how we cannot almost focus on one particular thing for a long period. I strongly agree with this and also wonder how a magazine adapts to moving online as the reading experience becomes different.
It was also a great insight into how Angharad writes and I found her advice on writing to be useful as we embark on our writing endeavours. She emphasised how drafting is important and I agree with this in almost any creative pursuit, to arrive at your desired outcome on your first attempt would be extremely lucky.
flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/691/pages/week-7-lecture-content-review?module_item_id=49404 [Accessed 13 Mar. 2021].