Future Utopias - Editorial Project

Editorial Mockup.jpg

For my main project this semester, I had to create an editorial project exploring the theme of a ‘Future Utopia’. The first few presentations we had on this were about artificial intelligence. While this topic is really interesting and a very current affair, I had quite recently done a project exploring themes of artificial intelligence, so I was a little hesitant about doing another project so closely related. I began researching for the project by watching the Netflix drama ‘Black Mirror’ for inspiration. One of the episodes really rang home to me as it was about a future utopia where people rated each other as they went about their daily lives to get as high a score as possible. I had recently seen an article about this episode about how in most places this would be seen as an absurd dystopian fiction but for some people in China this is becoming a reality. This really shocked me as I’d heard about the WeChat app in China before and how it is very easy to monitor its’ citizens action through the app, but this social credit system, for me, seemed to be taking it a step to far. From here I then began researching other ways in which companies are tracking the things that we do on a daily basis. One of the topics that I wanted to look into was the very recent scandal between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, as not only was this a breach of privacy, but it may also have affected the outcome of an election. The overall theme for my project was ‘The Modern Age of Privacy’ and I think this reflects well in the chosen articles.

In terms of design for this project I didn’t want it to look stereotypically ‘futuristic’ or ‘technological’ as I wanted it to reflect my style of design. I decided to use the project as a way to enhance my design portfolio by using a different design theme for each article in the magazine. By doing this I was really able to broaden my skills within Adobe Illustrator and InDesign and create a piece of work that I was both happy with and proud to show in perhaps an interview situation. For each article there is a main colour theme as well as a typographic theme and each one is different. To keep continuity, I decided to keep the body text the same size, weight and typeface but I think that all the article headings still work well with the body text. As well as the title pages reflecting the theme of the article I also changed the justification of the text to reflect the themes in the articles. For example, for the article about China I decided to fully justify all of the text to reflect the rigidness of some of the rules in the country, whereas for the article about a social network that doesn’t share its users’ data, it is justified both left and right in the interview section so it appears as if to be a conversation.

Finally, my plan was to print the project as a book and use my new bookbinding skills to bind it myself, however, I realised that this would be very time consuming and since I had limited time to get it finished and printed I decided to present the project on screen to my tutor and then when I return home, print it and bind it myself to display at our Erasmus exhibition back in Aberdeen.

Overall, I really enjoying doing this project as I got to explore some interesting themes, some of which have already changed the way I use social media and technology in everyday life and I’m really happy with the outcome of this project.

Ellen Forsyth | Gray's School of Art, RGU, Aberdeen | Communication Design

LivingEsther-Marie Kroeger