For the final publication each school year, the West Side Story issue is a little different-it’s split up into a senior and regular section. Basically, for the regular section, everyone on staff assumes their new roles on staff for the following year and takes over that half of the issue. Since I was going to be Design Editor for the following year, this was my first spread in that role! This was the cover story design for the May issue- my first cover story design!!
For this spread, I spent days on the cover page. I found a tutorial on how to make a bubble (which included over 150 steps…) and followed that diligently. If I remember correctly, it utilized lots of Photoshop tools I never knew existed. I’ll be quite honest, most of the functions I learned how to use during that process are things I completely forgot because I never used them again. However, I’m sure that tutorial is still somewhere on the vast interweb.
My biggest regret for the first page is the thumbtack graphic I put under the bubble. I wanted to convey that the bubble was bursting, but the graphic turned out kind of vague and confusing. It also reduced the dramatic effect of the bubble. As for the last two pages, I think the design was alright, but it would’ve been nice if it was more spaced out. I think the deck was a bit too long so the blog of text was unappealing and the pull quotes came off as an element to take up space on the page. Furthermore, the infographic on the right corner is really crammed. If I were to design it again, I would make the quotes more compact and highlight certain aspects of the deck to make it more interesting. Also, I feel that the gold box behind the text was unnecessary- it made the subheads stand out less and thus made the page seem a bit more text heavy.
Despite all these changes, I still think this was a pretty good first cover story design. This was my first time working with so much content and so many pages, but the following year would be one where I designed a lot more and gained tons more experience.
Check back next time see content I made the next year as Design Editor!