Final Covers

In my original designs for the cover I produced this vintage poster style, however I thought that a full scale image might be more appropriate, as the margins on my previous design were very small and it didn’t really connect well with the rest of the magazine. Also I needed to incorporiate my masthead, and I thought that the dark blue contrasted well with the greyscale of the image.



Cover Ideas

Research and Inspiration

I looked at vintage style posters, as I thought that they would enhance the nostalgic edge I wanted to produce. I collected two British Rail posters, as well as some work from the artist Andy Tuohy, which I thought incorporated the vector styling from the posters.

Cover Idea 1 – Vector Collage

I looked at producing a vector based collage design for my covers, showing the evolution of steam through the early 20th century, which would reflect on the posters above. However after I had collected the images in photoshop and began to create the vector in illustrator, I realised how time consuming it would take to produce. I didn’t want to rush the designs or sacrifice time on developing the spreads within the magazine.

Cover 1- Vector trial Cover 1– photo montage











Cover Idea 2 – Train Silhouette

I experimented with the idea of perspective, in considering a more abstract route to take. Ho0wever I wasn’t sure how appealing this would be to an audience, and don’t think it reflected on my nostalgia concept.

Cover 2 – silohette










Cover Idea 3 –Vintage Photo Poster

After thinking about the research posters again I thought about producing a cover in a similar style, in terms of layout. I thought that the grainy, black and white imagery could really enhance the nostalgic edge and would appeal to the audience.

Cover 3 – photo poster

Initial Layouts

Initial Content Spreads:

Within these designs, I considered producing a fold out, from the magazine, which would have the content map, and images of  trains on the back. I thought that the fold out could enhance the idea of the map as a kind of guide.

Layout 1:

I experimented with ideas about perspective within these designs. Thinking about tunnels and bridges to enforce the idea of the reader going on a journey through the magazine. It was interesting to see how I could manipulate images and text to communicate this, but at the moment the spreads look unorganised and there needs to be more flow, within the magazine.

Redesign Practical: Grids

In lecture we continued to experiment with redesigning the ‘Cabinet’ magazine. We looked at how to implement grids into our designs, in which I focused on producing one spread with content about the idea of levitation. I thought about how that could be represented within the designs and decided to draw out an angled grid, as this would allow the text to float upwards across the pages. I also chose a modernist grid, as it was quite flexible, and would allow me to explore how the text and images could be placed effectively, to show the idea of levitation.

Initial Sketched Design 


Redesign Brief

heritage railway logo

Heritage Logo and Front Cover


The Heritage Railway magazine reports on news related to the recent developments in steam train locomotives, and ongoing events on heritage railway sites. It has a range of articles and features; from concerns with penalty charges on tour firms, to individual experiences from steam train enthusiasts. It means that it can cater for a wide range of groups; from volunteers who work on the railway sites, to enthusiasts who will attend events and sites around the UK, as well as touring holidays in which to actually experience steam train travel.

The audience for the magazine is predominantly male with ages ranging from 25 – 34 years and 45 – 54 years, with an estimated market of 1,778. There is a very tight community within the readership, shown through the online presence of the magazine, with forums and pages where enthusiasts can share experiences and photos. More

Audience Research

A Story of Steam – Railway Documentary:

I learnt a lot from watching this documentary, and what type of readership the Heritage Railway Magazine attracts. In the film they talked about how steam trains appeal to them:

  • Nostalgia: steam trains have a romantic quality to them, due to their history and peoples associations with past events and youth.
  • “living thing”: steam trains are individually made, which gives each of them a unique quality, particularly in comparison with mass produced electric and diesel trains. In turn it encompasses an individual aesthetic feel, and is described by enthusiasts to be a “living thing”, in terms of smell, movement, noise.
  • Journey/ experience: they have a unique feel, in which people will take trips and go to events, to experience the excitement of steam, which is lost in modern transport nowadays.

Online Presence and Community

  • Predominantly Male
  • 24–34 yrs and 45–54 yrs
  • Workers and Volunteers at heritage sites.
  • Enthusiasts– they will attend events and tours related to steam travel.

These forums and pages allow steam train enthusiasts share experiences and photos with each other:

Heritage Railway Magazine Research

I decided to buy an early version of the magazine from 1999, in order to compare it with most recent edition which I will be redesigning:



Contents Spreads:


News Spreads:

Similarities: masthead design, bold typefaces boxed photos, four column layouts, size

Differences: Colour Palette, full cover photos (2013), thinner paper stock (2013)

I noticed that both issues were very similar, which shows that the design and layout hasn’t really developed from when it was initially published in 1999, and could communicate better to a modern audience.

The most recent magazine is very formal in appearance with a four column layout and small images relating to each article, giving it a newspaper quality. The paper stock is very thin and is fairly translucent.



Previous Older Entries