The Strad is a European monthly magazine that has influenced the string instrument world for over a century. It is regarded as one of the most authoritative and trusted publications of its kind, regularly featuring articles with advice from world-famous musicians and other experts. The Strad is built to be an “indespensible guide for string players, teachers, and instrument makers alike.” Thus, the objective of this rebrand was to bring the publication’s design aesthetic into alignment with its educational and inspirational mission.
I drew inspiration from two main sources for this project: musician photography/portraiture that pushes the boundaries and technical illustrations for violinmakers. My final design is driven by unique photographs from photographers that consistently break from the tradition of classical musician portraiture, featuring unusual and artistic composition. The design elements of the magazine incorporate elements of technical drawings but with more modern typography.
The feedback I received on these designs was notably positive. The spreads were appraised for capturing the essence of the classical music world while bringing it into a new graphic space. The spreads simultaneously create an emotional experience and provide practical guidance in a digestible way. Essentially, the final design reflects that of the acclaimed instrument for which it was named—the timeless epitome of instrumental excellence.