For each new volume of ARCADE, we work with a different graphic designer. We do this to keep the design of the magazine fresh while highlighting the breadth of design approaches, styles, and perspectives among our talented design community.
Volume 34 of ARCADE—issues 34.1/spring, 34.2/fall, and 34.3/winter—was designed by Seattle-based Lucia|Marquand, whose practice has specialized in fine-art book design for over 30 years, and their sophisticated aesthetic sensibilities are present throughout the volume.
Each designer brings a unique perspective to their volume of ARCADE. Here, Ryan Polich, design director at Lucia|Marquand, shares a behind-the-scenes look at the process and vision that shaped volume 34:
"Our design approach for ARCADE volume 34 centered around a controlled focus on typography, use of the grid, and visual consistency throughout the three issues. We often design books in series at Lucia|Marquand, and it's critical that there's a sense of continuity throughout; this attitude drove much of our decision-making during the initial design stages.
"ARCADE is generally printed in two colors: process black and a series of Pantone colors chosen by the designer. When we established the volume’s color palette, we had loose notions of the feature themes for each issue, which helped guide our decisions; we also tried to choose colors that hadn't yet appeared in ARCADE. Our palette became a series of bright off-tones—the aim being to introduce as much color complexity as a two-color design would permit.
"ARCADE’s editorial content is broken into two distinct sections: a themed feature unique to each issue and regular columns (“the wrap”). The columns appear in the front and back of the magazine, “wrapping” around a long feature in the center.
"We began by focusing on the wrap. Because this portion of the magazine is present in every issue and comprises articles that a familiar reader might expect, clarity and coherence were our goals. Typefaces were chosen for readability and efficient use of space. We used Meta Serif, a practical and slightly narrow serif face, for body text and Slate, a round geometric sans, for display type and secondary typesetting.
"We built the grid for flexibility, accommodating a variety of imagery but preserving a familiar layout. ARCADE’s content varies greatly, and it was crucial to us that readers be able to open the magazine anywhere and immediately get their bearings. Headers, titles, footers, and folios were assigned strict locations.
"While predictability and consistency dominate the design of the wrap, the three feature sections are more variable. The design treatment for the issue 34.1 feature, Visiting the Past, Designing the Future: Reflections on Influence derived from the wrap but employed a broader use of color and drew attention to text and images as elements locked in a grid—the goal being to reveal the influence of the content on the design itself, and vice versa. The cover neatly ties the concept of the entire design together by showcasing an illustration from an article within titled “Form Follows Function.”
"The issue 34.2 feature, Architectures of Migration: A Survey of Displacements, Routes, and Arrivals, presented a prescient and political topic calling for a bold design, reflected in the aggressive use of bright yellow and the striking, sharp-featured typeface Fazeta. The content fell into three sections tracing stages of human migrations—“Displacement,” “En route,” and “Arrival.” The design is intended to evoke a sense of disorientation and movement. A shifting motif of topographic lines moves across the cover and the borders of the feature section as a connection to the many ties to geography in the content.
"The issue 34.3 feature, Undeniable: Edward Burtynsky’s Photographs of a Changing World, presented a welcome design challenge: the section would include a series of full-color photographs by the artist with an accompanying essay.
"Our endeavor became to smoothly nestle a gallery of full-color works into an existing two-color design. Serendipitously, the fiery red color chosen for the issue months before underscored the focal photograph of the feature essay, which we also used for the cover—a neon red river of chemical tailings from a nickel mine. At the brilliant suggestion of ARCADE staff, the cover was stripped of all typography save for the masthead—a bold, if bleak, statement. The feature’s strong display typography (set in Tungsten) conveys the scale and inevitability of the content, which centered on climate change and human damage to the environment."
Thank you to Lucia|Marquand for your hard work on volume 34!
With our spring 2017 issue ARCADE launches volume 35, celebrating our 35th anniversary! We are excited to announce our design partnership with Seattle’s Graphiti Associates, a boutique full-service agency that helps brands tell their stories.
Subscribe to ARCADE today to receive our magazine in print. You can start your subscription with issue 34.3, released in December, or our April issue, which kicks off volume 25. ARCADE is made possible by the generous support of our enthusiastic, design-minded community. If you like what you see and read, and aren't already supporting ARCADE, please consider joining us as a subscriber / donor.