Australia's Monument Re-Imagined

Australia's Monument Re-Imagined The very first New Work entry for 2010 comes from Dan Peterson, Art Director for Australian architecture magazine Monument:
In 2010, Australian Architecture magazine Monument undertook a comprehensive re-imagining. This involved reconstructing the entire creative direction of the title. We aimed to establish ourselves as the most progressive title in our market, to engage an expanded audience, and provide and inimitable product for the newsstand and subscriber base.

The base ethic of the new magazine is that of exploration. Monument's creative direction is to approach our features as if they were a new city that our reader was visiting. Subjects (primarily architectural projects) are deconstructed using numerous editorial departments; an architect statement, a critical review, inspirations etc. The art direction has to be tightly structured and restrained in order to present such varied and contrasting elements as one fluid suite of information.
I love the raw graphic logic traditional flag design, so I devised a strict vertical and horizontal grid template that allows text columns of differing widths to sit within and amongst one another. Like a flag, this creates a definite hierarchy to the information being presented. Various symbols, messages and images can be displayed on one spread without over saturating the reader with too much copy of the same weight and intensity. Blocks of text often have smaller blocks inset. This adds depth to the information, while referencing architectural concepts of volume and proportion. 
We have also introduced a number of sections that aim to put the reader "inside the mind" of the architect. Creative Conciousness (below) is a mashed up mood board of a leading creative's inspiration. This makes for an interesting insight... Woody Allen + Nose to tail eating + Duchamp!
There is also "Create-A-Date" in which we pair up two creative professionals from different fields on a blind date with a mysterious brief. "Design a chandelier" is first up, and the results are totally unique, and really exciting. (below)


I've used a really limited type family, Gotham and Chronicle by the great Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Complimented by a suite of decorative fonts sourced and commissioned from a number of individual designers (this was a great part of the project!) that are employed as drop caps, numerals, and navigational 'monograms' to define the section or department. (below)

Because each editorial feature has the potential to present a wide variety of ideas, images are edited to be highly descriptive. Often the images aim to prompt the reader to deconstruct the visual game. An example of this can be found on the last pages of the story below (4th spread below), where images of the shelving unit are juxtaposed with traditional Japanese prints that share common composition. It's all about opening up each feature as a rich discussion. Hopefully everything in our mag has the potential to spark another idea for our reader.

A major selling point is our longevity, so the issue number is a major component of the new cover design (very top image, and below). I wanted to apply a strict hierarchy to all the information that the reader is given.The new cover template refers to architectural plans, aiming to be immediately legible for readers browsing the mag at the newsstand. The cover image is framed by the typography and masthead, and is selected as the logical symbol of the themes discussed in each issue. As this new cover direction develops, I'm planning on moving the elements around the composition depending on the format that presents the image best. Should be interesting...


Monument's creative team includes:

Art Director: Dan Peterson
Designer: Stephanie Gatto
Editor: Leanne Amodeo

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 and we'll post them as we get them.

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