How do I make a magazine? This is a question that comes up a lot, and my answer is always super simple. Just do it. Life is short, and you can spend all of it just theorizing on how to make a magazine. My best advice is to get out there and do it.
With that said I'll give you a quick break down of my process on how I approached making a cycling magazine.
Part 1 will cover concepting, sourcing content, organization, and the tools you will need to create your own magazine. I apologize in advance because this will probably get pretty messy, but that's ok, life is short, let's do this.
What will your magazine be about? What inspires you? What's missing in the magazines you like to read? Who is this magazine for?
Do research and find inspiration. Head to your local bookstore or library; this is your time to explore. Start a Pinterest board or make a folder on your computer and save images to it.
Sourcing content is probably the second most asked question when it comes to making a magazine. This one is easy; it's the same as above. Just do it. Reach out to your friends and family. Reach out to your social network and most importantly reach out to those who inspire you.
Broken & Coastal would be nothing without its contributors; they are the heart and soul.
Now that you got the ball rolling it's time to take charge and organize your project. You need to manage your content, design, schedule, etc.
I use a very detailed folder structure to organize my files which is a habit I've picked up working as a Motion Designer the past eight years.
Download my Sample Folder Structure here. Once you download it you can customize it to best fit the kinds of project you do.
I started making zines back in 2004, and I had no idea what I was doing. I used a word processor, photocopies, glue sticks, and scissors to make a hard copy. I'd spend my days at the local copy center making 100's of copies, folding and stapling each zine.
It's a lot different now, and printmaking has become accessible to everyone. I spend most of my days behind a computer for work and then again for the magazine. Here is a short list of the tools that make my life easier.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe makes the majority of applications that I use for the magazine and work. With my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, I can bounce back and forth between both my computers which is something I've grown to love.
When making a magazine, I live in an ecosystem made up of Indesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Indesign is for layout and editing. Photoshop is for image correction and manipulation. Illustrator is used for concepting and exploring typographical ideas and layouts. Everyone has their workflow, and this is what works best for me.
If you work in the creative space, you need to invest in some form of digital storage. I choose to use Dropbox because I can sync it between all of my devices. I can work from my tower and laptop seamlessly, it's amazing. One minute I'll be in my office editing the magazine and the next I'll pick up my laptop and finish it up on the couch or at a cafe. For those of you with just one computer that might not seem that cool but still I encourage you to invest in at least a basic Dropbox account.
Google Docs and Sheets
I hate Google Drive; it's the worst. If you've ever collaborated on a large project on Google Drive, you know what I mean. With that said I love Google Docs and Sheets. I set up a Master Document that I share with my editor. It's seamless.
This concludes How to Make a Cycling Magazine Part 1. If you have any more questions regarding the topics in this article, please leave a comment below or feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I'll be back next week with Part 2 where will jump into the design, layout, and all of that fun stuff!
Broken & Coastal is an independent cycling magazine and design studio based in Portland, Oregon.
Want to work together? Want to say hello? E-mail us!