What It Takes — Day 1 :: Here we go!

What It Takes | Behind the scenes of an indie print magazine | http://theunmistakableeffect.co/

For the first day of this, I thought I’d share a little about how I get in the zone to create the magazine and really where the whole process for each issue starts — which is with the theme and the overall vibe for the issue.

Before we kick off, I wanna say that this 30 day series may not have perfect spelling or grammar, because my main focus is to just work on the magazine and share whatever happens with that – so these emails will be pretty raw and mostly un-edited. 😜And if you're wondering exactly what to expect from this... Well, I don’t even know myself what I can guarantee throughout the next 30 days, haha. As I mentioned, I’m not planning on editing or filtering a lot, and I want to share as much as I can without giving EVERYTHING away (cause ya gotta keep some shit secret for the launch… duh). I’m keen to share a various range of media though — from photos to screenshots and probably a couple videos in there too. 

One thing I CAN promise though :: As with most of my writing, I'll try to keep shit as short + sweet + to-the-point as possible. Personally I can't read content that rambles on and on, so I'll do my best not to write like that either.

If you ever have any questions or things you’d love to see more or less of throughout, just hit reply on any of the emails and lemme know!

Okay enough shit talk, let’s get into it.

Getting in the zone

For me, the number one way I get in the zone for any kind of creating, but especially super soulful creative stuff (like The Unmistakable Effect), starts with music (and also hanging in nature... both are 10/10). For the most part I’m pretty into the house/dance/upbeat music, but I can also get down with almost anything (except Cardi B or Taylor Swift… Don’t even go there). I’ve got an Unmistakable Effect playlist that has a good mash of what I usually listen to, plus a couple other playlists that are my go to. Check ‘em below.

Spotify Playlists

To theme or not to theme?

For a long time I'd been wrestling with the idea of having a theme or not having themes at all for issues moving forward, as I go into quarterly print issues. For all previous issues, there were themes attached, and the content in that issue would roughly relate to the theme in some way. There's pro's and con's to both ways of working, but in the end I decided to stick with the theme idea, but keep it quite broad and not be too anal about it.

SO for this first offish quarterly issue the theme is 'Don't Believe The Hype' — which is something I've written about before here and there, and it's also a part of the Unmistakable Effect rules which appear in erry issue. There's so fucking many ways to approach this topic and it can be quite broad, which is why it felt like a rad fit. A few weeks ago I had my apartment to myself for the weekend and one night I just decided to throw on some music, turn it up real loud, grab some pens, and see what happened. I ended up with this massive poster-type situation with ideas + sections for the magazine and a lot of brain dumping, really. Haha. I've added a couple snaps of this below! 

What It Takes | Behind the scenes of an indie print magazine | http://theunmistakableeffect.co/

The visual vibes

Along with the music thing, playing around with visuals and photography is a HUGE player for me in all of my work, so its usually one of the first things I start doing when I have a new mag issue coming up. The covers are a big deal, and for me they set the tone for the whole issue so I like spending time playing around with certain photo styles and editing styles that I can use throughout that whole issue

I guess in some ways I have my own particular design ‘style’ that’s consistent throughout my work no matter what issue of the magazine is or what the project is, but I do like to be as conscious as possible about keeping the vibe consistent within each project. So that might mean using the same photo preset, the same brush styles for handwriting, shit like that.

I don’t wanna give away the cover for this issue YET, mostly cause that’s the most exciting part for me, haha, and also because it’s not final and there’s a good chance I’ll change it before it’s launched. But I AM keeping track of all my different variations so I can show the cover process once it’s launched.

BUT I have some screenshots of my inspo + work-in-progress visuals for ya ::

What It Takes | Behind the scenes of an indie print magazine | http://theunmistakableeffect.co/

As soon as I found this photo series above, I knew they were the feeling I wanted to go for. Sometimes I end up editing the photos quite a bit, so the end result might not be these photos as you see 'em now, but those gradients and colours are what I'm aiming for.

Visual inspo

I've mentioned before how I'm not a huge fan of looking for inspo within my industry, BUT I just fucking love my magazines and layout design too much to not throw myself into it. I'm also pretty good at working together my own vibe into other styles I like, so I'm confident enough not to completely rip off other shit I've seen. Here's a couple snaps from some things I've found online, and some print magazines I've got my hands on lately.

What It Takes | Behind the scenes of an indie print magazine | http://theunmistakableeffect.co/
What It Takes | Behind the scenes of an indie print magazine | http://theunmistakableeffect.co/

One other interesting thing to note about inspiration... This shit is all just a starting point for me. While it captures the vibe I'm going for right NOW, there's a pretty good chance it'll change a bit by the time I've finished the magazine. When you start to pull together the content and photos from featured people and all of the other shit that goes into a project like this, you sometimes find it needs to shift to adapt to those new feels... So I'm stoked to see how the end result turns out. 

As you can probably tell, the inspo on my wall and the Pinterest inspo have very different feels and colours, but once I start pulling it all together it'll become clearer, and I'll share more of the design process with ya.🤘

Magazines + other things included in the above images ::

ps. Yes those are watermarks on the photos. I just grab the ones off the website until I know for sure I actually want to use 'em — then I go buy them! For the cover I try to use paid images from Stocksy — mostly because I'd rather , and I also use free stock photos from other sites throughout the mag.

And thats it for Day 1!