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Vintage Magazine Spread Design Project - Pgs. 42 & 43 | by willstotler
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Vintage Magazine Spread Design Project - Pgs. 42 & 43

Magazine spread graphic design project. Uses photos I shot while attending a vintage clothing shoot in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thanks to all participants. My goal was to create pin-up calendar pages that had an authentic look-and-feel to match the time period of the vintage clothing.


Model is Dannie O. (MM#877400).


See this image full size.


See more in the Vintage Clothing Shoot set.


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So what was the brief on this project? Shoot vintage clothing and shoot pin-up.


I examined pin-up samples from the late 1940s through the early 1960s to get a feel for what they were and how they were used. Many of them incorporated a calendar. I decided that I'd make this project a "perpetual July" and shift the years--as a month-by-month calendar style was impossible.


I shot at the event over the span of seven hours. The heat was intense and the venue was very tricky--it didn't have the authentic flavor I wanted to get into the photos. However, I did find a way to make the project go--models plus vintage clothing plus some creative shooting and design work give this piece the proper, authentic flavor.


If you know me, you know I love tagging objects--nailing down information and details about things that appear in my photographs.


Here's where I share that vintage clothing doesn't reveal its secrets. For most vintage pieces, a rough date can be ascertained (thanks, Kristina), but tags are either missing or unreadable, making a full and careful catalog of the clothing impossible. Attribution is listed where it is known.


Of note, some of these photos were shot with a 1953 Leitz Elmar f/3.5 5cm lens. Others were shot with a Cosina-Voigtländer f/1.2 35mm Nokton. All were shot on the M8.


Photos were processed slightly yellow and very saturated. Then, copies were made and received a black-and-white treatment using TrueGrain and Panatomic-X grain. Layout and careful compositing was completed via InDesign, using a custom-made Müller-Brockmann grid, which I designed to be based on LOOK magazine dimensions, content ratios, and typography. This is likely the last time this grid and layout will be used.


The single most difficult challenge of this project was creating the custom calendars. Each calendar had to be laid out digit-by-digit, have its typography selected (period-authentic), and then be constructed. It was a lot of work.


It was fun selecting period-authentic typography for use throughout the project--the research on what to use was tricky, but in the end the look is there. In some places better than others. Of note, typographic design from these time periods is often "bland" and workmanlike. I attribute this largely to the print shop being responsible for the typesetting and using pre-made blanks.


Credit is due: I'd like to thank Albert Heefner for organizing this event and also Kristina Paulk for curating and managing the vintage wardrobe on set. Also, I'd like to thank each model that worked with me during the long day--without your work, these spreads wouldn't have been possible. Most vintage clothing was provided by the Astro Vintage Boutique in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thank you. The Aces & Eights classic car club brought vintage automobiles and the Nifty Fifty's Diner was the venue--they also deserve a shout.


Again, thanks to all participants.


--Will Stotler, August 2011

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Taken on August 21, 2011