Positive Negative Magazine

Yesterday was the official “launch party” of the Positive Negative magazine that we’ve been working on for so long.

To say it took a little more time and effort than a regular class would be an understatement. This class was awesome because everyone was really invested in it. Normally people come into class, work on their own projects, critique semi half-heartedly and then leave. This class from day one was a group effort.

We elected a “staff team” early on with Art Directors, Copy Editors, Photo Editors, Design Directors & more. Including the iPad team which I worked on! This meant that in addition to the articles that we were writing and designing for the class, the staff was responsible for the printed magazine (cover, table of contents design, folio, all of the copy editing and the list goes on…). The class also raised funds for the magazine through Kickstarter, in addition to funds from RIT’s president & different departments.

I loved seeing how everyone really backed each other up & gave honest critique and advice. We started a Facebook page early on and everyone was able to put up images of their work and get critique almost instantly from somewhere. This meant that we weren’t just showing up to class with something new to show but the whole process along the way was able to receive help & advice. I definitely think it helped the pieces overall because people were able to jump in with new ideas right away rather than waiting for the next class which meant the growth from beginning to end was greater.

The iPad team was a new edition to the magazine. This Positive Negative magazine has been done by editorial design classes for the past 4 years (this is the 5th edition). Each is different in it’s own way. Everything recently has moved into a digital space and so we thought it was only fitting that the magazine transition as well. It was definitely a trial run and a huge learning experience. At the beginning of the quarter we really had no idea what direction we were going to take.

The idea of a magazine on an iPad is still relatively new and therefore there is no set software or set of instructions that anyone can go off of. We ultimately decided to build it like a website that was responsive using HTML/CSS and Javascript which allowed us to use coding languages we were already familiar with (hooray for  huge time savers). Since we were diving into the unknown it was nice to at least understand the language we were coding in and not have to learn that on top of figuring out interactivity. In choosing this route we did give up the ability to use xcode or put it on the app store (something that would be nice for the future). Of course, that would be the ideal situation but seeing as we had no idea what we were doing 10 weeks ago and none of us had an experience with iPad magazines, I’d say it was pretty successful.

If you go to www.positivenegativemagazine.com you’ll be able to see the 12 articles that we’ve put on the iPad version of the magazine. Please keep in mind that we’re still working on some minor thing for it so if there is a bug, chances are we already know about it! We’re also working on getting some behind the scenes footage up on it so that will be available in the next week or so – will post again when that’s working.