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  • Writer's pictureAlis Hâf

Case Study: House 21 Magazine

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

It's odd writing about designing the House 21 Magazine in a blog as House 21 is made up of hundreds of contributors who've been blogging for years. Set up by Melanie Owen and Donna Owen in 2018, as a community and home for female bloggers they've since grown form strength to strength by starting with blogging events and workshops and shortly after this launching their online magazine for female bloggers and website in June 2019.

Since meeting Melanie over Instagram in 2018 I've been working with her on the design work for House 21 events, merchandise and social media images and also on some of her other projects separate to House 21. So when I heard Melanie was looking to create a quarterly print magazine of the best blogs on the website I was very excited and eager to get started!

After the intial brief we both looked at a variety of magazines and styles to figure out what look Melanie wanted. The branding (colours, typography styles and tone) of House 21 is so strong anyway it wasn't difficult to find something that worked. We met in The Grail (one of the many great cafes in Aberystwyth) on a Friday morning towards the end of February to brainstorm and go over ideas.

What developed from this meeting was the design and layout used today. I've also since gone on to use it in the design of the second issue of the magazine (cover above). Using the House 21 fonts and colours I created a layout and design that worked for the shorter and longer blogs written by the House 21 contributors and also for other elements that Mel wanted to include like the Photo Wall and the Newsletter. These pages were fun to create as I was able to use some of my collaging skills to create pages that looked as though they were torn out of journals or diaries with polaroid style photos to suit a similar look. Having created brochures and larger booklets in the past I knew getting a variety of templates and page layouts was key and I'm glad I did the work at the beginning of the process so that when Mel sent over the content it was easy to fill in the templates with all the interesting blogs. It was also fun to step out of my comfort zone and test out a different style of illustration to for the front cover design.

Alongside the Spring Issue, I've since worked with Mel on the Summer Issue which has just been released and is still available to buy through the House 21 etsy page. If you're looking for a designer for a brochure or magazine or want to collaborate on a similar project then do let me know. Find me on Instagram @alis_haf or send me an email.

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