gx_home Editorial Design - May 6, 2007

GX Magazine — Military Lifestyle

When it comes to designing editorial for the National Guard’s premier publication, GX: The Guard Experience, history and national pride were hard subjects to make new and exciting. That’s where the communication challenge began and Kenneth White Design stepped up to the plate.

GX started as a magazine that was not only targeted to soldiers, but also to their families. Respectively, we’ve divided the editorial design into two sections, “Family Focus” and “Military Lifestyle,” shown below.


History

A portion of the content of GX was not just news and current events, but important events in the history of the National Guard.

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Reenactment maps are just about the driest content you can feature in a military magazine, usually represented by flat 2-D maps, lines, boxes and arrows. I wanted to bring the Battle of New Orleans to life on the page and make readers feel like it was happening as they were reading the narrative. With cannon fire, dust from fast moving cavalry and deadly skirmishes in American redoubts, the map is reinvented and entertaining.

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Contemporary

Some of the articles also dealt with technology or current events, giving the design a chance to be open and break the grid.

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Strength

It was difficult to design for a military audience and still maintain some degree of design freshness. Layouts had a tendency to fall into a stiff, reverential style with red or blue headlines and no personality. So it was my goal to create a feeling of strength within layouts that were also visually appealling and dynamic.

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Illustrative

Using illustration is a great way to give a presence to abstract ideas like “progress” or “employment.” Working with outside illustrators was something we enjoyed greatly, but sometimes a last minute shortening of the articles, the deadline or the budget would leave us no other choice but to create illustrations ourselves.

The article below features the eclectic work of Gina Binkley with matching sign-painter-styled typography created by Kenneth White Design.

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It was quite an honor to work with the amazingly talented Dan Page. The topics of the article were so broad, we were worried there wouldn’t be enough substance to produce worthwhile concepts. When he came back with the injection-molded family, that was classic.

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Below are some of the illustrations I produced.

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CREDITS
Client: Iostudio, LLC
Design: Kenneth White