Harvard Design Magazine, #47
Since its 2014 relaunch, Harvard Design Magazine has established a satisfyingly simple, almost stark, design system for its covers. I particularly liked this latest cover, so asked creative director Jiminie Ha about it.
The covers all work to the same layout template, but respond to the theme of the issue, this one being ‘Inside Scoop’. Editor-in-chief Jennifer Sigler fleshes out her thinking in the introduction, describing her hope that architects and designers might become less obsessed with the outside and look more closely at the inside. And in this way, reassess the boundaries between the design disciplines.
Jiminie explained how this applies to modes of thinking as well, ‘the invisible footprint that informs all creative processes,’ and how this cover displays that footprint. The regular design elements appear in their usual place on the cover, but they are presented as the designer sees them on the computer during production, contained by InDesign’s grid of coloured guides. Any designer will recognise the familiar details.
Usually invisible, these grid guides, along with hidden character punctuation signs, reveal the process behind the execution of the cover (and every page in the issue). ‘The cover approach alludes to the theme through the transparency of the grid, normally invisible to the naked eye. It not only highlights its own constant evolution, but acts as a visual metaphor for the theme’.
The final touch is the use of flouroscent inks and gloss varnish for the hidden elements, referencing the computer glow of the designer’s screen.