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ARTIFACT MAGAZINE

The current landscape of archaeology- and history-oriented magazines (and educational magazines in general) consists of many publications that have evolved little since the late-80s and 90s. They tend to be text-dense and retain the old-fashioned look of a trade publication. Useful photography and information is easy to overlook because of the lack of shelf appeal and sensory overload.

Artifact Magazine: Projects

Target Audience

Academically curious high school and university students interested in exploring archaeology in and out of the classroom (ages 16-25). Aesthetically sophisticated adults who enjoy exploring academic topics in their leisure time (ages 26-55). All adults interested in aspirational travel topics.

Artifact Magazine: Text

Design Problem

The main challenge in designing Artifact was in creating a magazine that feels “designed” while presenting valuable information to readers. This required laying-out text-heavy articles in a way that didn’t overwhelm the reader. The design of the covers needed to be striking in order to stand out on a crowded shelf of publications.

Artifact Magazine: Text
Artifact Magazine: Pro Gallery

Design Process

I began this process by looking at physical copies of various contemporary art and design magazines, including: Artforum, Art Review, and CURA., as well as i-D, Luxiders and Hype&Hype. I wanted to explore the cutting edge of image-oriented magazine design. Much of my specific layout inspiration came from the selection of interesting archaeological photography. For typography, I explored a light and modern combination of serif and sans-serif, looking particularly for a sans-serif that didn’t feel clunky.

Artifact Magazine: Text
Artifact Magazine: Pro Gallery

Design Solution

Using contemporary art and design magazines as a model, I designed an archaeology magazine with an unusually sleek and minimalist feel. I relied heavily on white space and wide margins to achieve this aesthetic and reduce reader-overload, to the point of avoiding the full-page photos standard
in educational magazines. I selected Futura as the brand typeface to give Artifact a simultaneously contemporary and nostalgic vibe.

Artifact Magazine: Text

The system design of Artifact's covers can be seen in the grid below. The cover layouts for each season over the next three years are variations on a theme.

Artifact Magazine: Text
Artifact Magazine: Pro Gallery

The interior spreads of Artifact draw the reader in with dynamic layouts that play with the balance of text and white space.

Artifact Magazine: Text
Artifact Magazine: Pro Gallery