Ocala Magazine

Ocala Magazine

Jamie Mark, the Creative Director at Ocala Magazine, sends along some of the work and making-of process for their recent "Water" issue:
I am currently the creative director for a small publishing company in the city of Ocala in North Central Florida. We run an extremely modest operation out of an old Victorian house in the city's historic district. As members of the Florida Magazine Association (FMA), we attended their annual conference last week showcasing our new issue of Ocala Magazine. It generated a lot of discussion during the conference based not only on what we did, but how little we spent to do it. I know we are just a tiny magazine, but since magazines big and small are struggling with budgets, I thought it was worth sharing...

For this issue, the idea was simple enough; don't just do an issue about water, do a water-logged issue. Without a budget, we accomplish this using a local girl who modeled for the experience, hair and make up donated by a local salon and approximately $40 worth of stock photography.

The comp, based on rough sketches, was made to discuss with my team how (or if) we could execute this. Once satisfied we could do it, I got the publisher's buy-in.
water cover_frame1_comp.jpg
The original photo picked from the shoot. We also hosed down old magazines and sheets of paper (letting them warp in the sun). The surfaces and folded edges were then shot to be combined in photoshop with the model.
water cover_frame2_original photo.jpg
This shows the cover in process. At this point we were experimenting with what water does to ink and paper and what that might look like.
water cover_frame3_process.jpg
The final cover. Here we added the cover lines which were used on this cover more as a design element (say buh-bye readability). We also added some stock photography (and our only expenses) for the many water drops.
water cover_frame4_final cover.jpg

And now for the feature from the issue...

The original idea for this story was a dramatic Sopranos-type group shot -- only completely drenched with water. They weren't willing to do that (big surprise), but more so, they wouldn't even agree to be photographed. Instead, they provided standard PR head shots (of the Sears portrait variety). That's when I decided they deserved to drown!  We put this opener together using just the provided photos and about $50 worth of stock photography for the water, floating hair and ties.

Here are the original supplied PR photos in all their Sears portrait glory:
water bosses_frame1_original photos.jpg
This is the rough comp assembled from the PR shots combined with low resolution stock of water and shapes rough cut in InDesign served as the blueprint.
water bosses_frame2_comp.jpg
This shows the spread in process. At this point, all the floating elements (ties and hair) are finished. Additionally, we pushed the shadows as much as possible, giving it a more dramatic mood. Now we begin work on the water layers.
water bosses_frame3_process.jpg
The final spread. The PR shots didn't quite allow us to achieve the drama of the high contrast Sopranos posters that helped inspire this, but then again -- does this look anything like a Sears portrait?
water bosses_frame4_final spread.jpg

The Ocala team includes:
art direction/design :: Jamie Ezra Mark
photoshop :: Josh Clark
photography :: Djamel E. Ramoul
hair+make up :: James Rich
model :: Megan Moyer
writer :: John Sotomayor

Hey! You've probably got some NEW WORK to share, and we want to see it! We'll welcome anything that's gone to the printer recently, something you're especially proud of and think might be inspiring to the membership and readers of Grids. We'll note the credits and the publication and shine a little light on the latest and greatest in publication design.

Please reduce your layouts to no larger than 1200 pixels wide and don't forget to include all relevant credits and a little background (if you feel like). Send your submissions to tips@spd.org and we'll post them as we get them.

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  • nowhereman

    I immerse myself monthly in very high end magazines. This cover, this model, this level of creativity is rarely seen. Great work, I'm framing and displaying. I am an Ocala, Florida resident. This is light years ahead of anything I've ever seen produced locally. You have made me a lifelong fan!!!

  • NicoMack

    Hats off! Excellent post-work. And a great example of how to think on your feet and overcome obstacles.

  • Nancy Stamatopoulos

    I have forwarded this story to every designer I know who has had these budgetary challenges. Kudos to you, Jamie for this major home run! As for the "Sears" portraits...we have to deal with them in every issue here, and you've inspired me to go back to the drawing board and completely rethink their presentation. Thanks! (now, how to get the editors to agree???)

  • Tim Leong

    Very nice! It's funny how big restrictions usually lead to big ideas.

  • Matt Tierney

    Awesome work...really inspiring stuff and backstory.

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