30 May 2008
Probably the most blogged about magazine last year, Monocle is an entirely new non-mainstream brand which was set up by Tyler Brûlé' (the man behind Wallpaper*). The online version went live in late 2007.
The article below paints an interesting picture of the project. Written by one the designers.
Notes on Design Monocle – Notes on Design
The best ideas in 2 minutes...
- Conceived as a multi-platform brand from the start (audio-video, print)
- High-quality programme making over low-key content a la YouTube
- Clearly showcases the programmes, using the magazine editorial as a supportive structure which provides further context
- Colour coding: black for broadcast; white for print
- 5 programmes = 5 brands – A - Affairs, B - Business, C - Culture, D - Design, E - Edits
- Office/studio environment – functionality was key in both the room layout and equipment used - plus: no eating at desk, coats in the cloakroom, not on the back of chair (very zen).
The Visual Design / Interactivity
- Clearly avoiding any Web 2.0 references
- Reflecting the sense of mature, timeless, distinctive quality of a European newspaper
- Web and broadcast identity is informed by CBS in the '60s, 'Good night and Good Luck' and the best of the BBC World Service.
- Grid: lovely and clear (reminded me of our pitch to Swankies last year?!)
- Behaviour: Double-sizing of videos is just beautiful, the video expands to the edge of the grid.
- Sub menu as overlays – Old School but works well for this site, as the overlays blend in nicely with the rest of the page design
The production pattern
One part of the site has the luxury of a 10 day period in-between the magazine going to press and it hitting the newsstands. This time slot allowed the team to set titles in Plantin or Helvetica Neue, ensuring a real resemblance to the magazine, carefully select and crop images. etc.
The monthly upload [W] fits into the gap after the finish of one issue and the start of the next. Broadcasts [B] are on a weekly rhythm.
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