Urban Noir Magazine, Issue 1 - Pgs 19 & 20
Page spread from Urban Noir magazine (Issue 1 - September 2011) featuring model Molly Noelle Graham (MM#2218021). Hairstyles, makeup, and talent management by Lara Graham. Photography, graphic design, and writing by Will Stotler (MM#1338163). This was an experiment in developing a coherent, modern magazine design from scratch.
Text from this spread follows
TOUCH & FEEL (cont.)
Caption: Weathered painted wood, rusted iron bars, a hint of concrete sidewalk—Molly Noelle Graham's introspective mood is communicated through supporting textures.
URBAN NOIR MAGAZINE GRAPHIC DESIGN PROJECT
They say that over time a photographer develops a style to his or her work that makes it recognizably his or hers. I’d been thinking for some time about what, exactly, my style of shooting is and how it works. With the development of this piece I think I’ve finally “found” mine: Urban Noir.
From a satisfaction point of view, it was pleasing to pull this magazine together. However, the writing was painful. The design itself, equally so. Several weeks of on-again, off-again work were required to work through the look, imagine how it should be, and try different approaches. While the end result is über-clean, it was painful to get the simple, uncluttered, content-focused clarity I wanted to draw from the photographs—without it being boring.
For the gearheads, the Müller-Brockmann grid underlying this piece’s elements was pulled from my PrettyPrettyRebel grid design, but adapted to full page spreads. The page lighting effects were tweaked further and surfaces refined. I’m finally satisfied with the look of the lighting. Typography was a challenge, and I kept it spare and strong with Twentieth Century, which was originally developed as a direct competitor to Futura. (To me, the geometric Futura promises a clean, bold future that never came to pass.) As always, development of all photos was in Aperture and layout was accomplished with InDesign.
Thanks are due to Molly Noelle Graham for her modeling talent, patience, and willingness to slog around Philadelphia and experiment until we could get each shot just right. Thanks are also due to Lara Graham, who provided dedication and time to enable the shoot for Molly. Without the day-of work (and later editorial input on photos) this final piece would not have been possible. Thanks Molly and Lara!
—Will Stotler, September 2011