Resources magazine has been redesigned to make the environment “accessible”


The visual renew hopes to make the data-heavy environmental and energy resources magazine signify out from its competitors.

Environmental and vigour research magazine Resources has been redesigned by London-based graphic artificer James Round.

The magazine is produced by Resources for the Future, an independent non-profit experiment with institution based in Washington, DC. Established in 1959, the magazine is published three many times a year.

Each issue covers a broad range of environmental themes, and aims to offer insightful comment for the public as well as information for policymakers.

“Bespoke” suggestions

Round tells Design Week that he had been working with the “design-literate” think-piece team, also based in Washington, on a series of infographics last year. Piece on the visual update then started for this year’s issues, which were published in Parade and May. Round is currently working on the third issue.

With an audience of policymakers, the destine also had to jump out. “It’s about making the issue stand out when it’s discharged on someone’s desk – be it a policymaker or their assistant.”

The most notable transmute on the front cover is the title, which is now displayed in an Acta typeface. The R’s glyph dips valid below the title to “add a little bespoke touch”, Round says. This now utilizes as a wordmark for the brand’s wider identity, as seen on the website. Inside, the existing fonts receive been retained; Minion Pro for body copy, Leitura for serif and Diameter for the sans serif.

The internal redesign has been driven by a “contemporary” mindset and layouts that throw out the data-heavy information more “room to breathe”, Round says. He was galvanized by magazines such as Makeshift and The Outpost which use “little visual fanfares to create beautifully complex layouts”.

The designer was also influenced by how “not quick news” magazine Delayed Gratification makes information “accessible and select” and the “bold” illustrated elements in Weapons of Reason (a title which Vicinity has worked on before).

Making each issue stand out

A more “unsaid” colour palette has been adopted for the magazine, which complements the wider variety colours but aims for a more pleasurable reading experience. Colours oblige also been used as a visual cue on the contents page. Next to the rubrics is a coloured tag which matches with the illustrations at the top of the page.

Each article also has a distinguished colour scheme so that it is clear when flicking through how the publication is divided. “There’s a wonderful flash of colour as you go through,” Round says.

Depiction is a key part of the redesign, according to Round (who is an illustrator himself). Working with illustrators delight in Michael Driver and Yukai Du has always been a dream for Round, and Resources has presented profusion of opportunities to collaborate he says.

It is a “no-brainer” in bringing the serious issues to vim, according to Round. Photography can be expensive and not always inspiring for the topics buried in Resources. During lockdown, when photoshoots have to be carried out under group distancing, illustration is also a useful workaround.

“Room to breathe”

One aim for Charge was to take the “very academic, content-heavy pieces” and give them “as much leeway to breathe” as possible, so that they are easily understood. In this way, the essay design bridges the “gap between the scientists who are producing the work and the people who end up comprehending it”. On a spread entitled Lessons from the Clean Air Act, there are just two columns of ape while the remainder of the two pages are reserved for visuals.

At the top of each article is a bar that has the swain, issue number and an out-of-context quotation taken from the article. Must a quotation that might not make complete sense before look over an article helps to entice readers into the piece, Round thinks.

The page number is placed towards the top of each side, in a lock-up with the brand name’s logo. This kind of “page furniture” keeps readers wrapped up, Round says. “If you can add those small things that might gladden people for a micro-second, that’s always good.”

Round also rumours that he is inspired by the time a reader might spend with a arsenal. He asks,“What does a reader get out of a magazine from twenty seconds with a dub, or twenty minutes or two hours?” These smaller — sometimes unnoticeable features — encourage closer and multiple readings but also provide enough news on the first go.

Round has also worked on a gatefold for the summer issue of the periodical, which marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with a pull-out timeline (pictured deeper) showing milestones that have affected the environment. This is a collaborative make with the magazine, as the editorial team sent him the data for the lay-out.

For this disseminate, Round also created a deck of playing cards, using the discernments from the gatefold. These were then sent out as a gift to the readers of the periodical. Featuring a four-way colour scheme which align to the four supplications, each card has a statistic or milestone event relating to Earth Day.

Of the redesign, Resources carry oning editor Elizabeth Wason says: “Our aim was to level up with new issues of the journal — and the new bold, confident style gets us further toward our goal of take a run-out powder stealing Resources a flagship publication for our organization.”

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