The goal of this assignment was to create a feature spread for a magazine on a topic of our choosing. My magazine focuses on weather and climate, and this particular article discusses historical weather anomalies such as fire tornados, frogs raining from the sky, and ball lightning. Because the article is all about unexpected and nearly unbelievable historical events, I wanted to create an opening spread that exhibited a sense of unpredictability and chaos, as one might feel if they found themselves in the middle of one of these weather anomalies.
From the beginning I wanted to use texture to ignite the viewer’s senses. I achieved this by exploring different textual variations of rain and water. The dripping element at the top, the water splatter effect coming from the edges of the page, and the dewy surface texture within the title all work together, yet stand out individually. The longer your eye zig zags across the page, the more detail becomes apparent. For example, pink raindrops are subtly splattered on the page because they are atypical for weather imagery. Mixing the pink with the bright blue and white creates a high contrast, striking image. The illustrated hands are meant to add a sense of humanity to the piece; personally connecting the viewer using a familiar pose as if trying to decide what to wear for the weather. That said, we don’t see who the hands actually belong to, once again creating a sense of unpredictability. The layout relies heavily on imagery and typography. There is little other information or additional text from the article on the opening spread. This was done intentionally, as the viewer’s curiosity should be the driving force persuading them to turn the page.
I was very pleased by the responses from my instructor and fellow classmates after presenting this spread. People remarked that the illustration style and use of typography were successful in creating excitement and unpredictability. Most notably, several peers commented on the use of tactile texture of this spread, using adjectives such as “dewy” and “aqueous.” Overall, I am very pleased with the final outcome. I believe the design is unconventional for an opening spread, just as there’s nothing conventional about fire tornados or frogs falling from the sky.