Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gold-Standard Design: Domenic Macri's Alberta Magazines Conference Session

Domenic Macri at the Alberta Magazines Conference (photo courtesy Don Molyneaux and Sandra Markieta)

"What makes me nuts," says Report on Business (ROB) magazine art director Domenic Macri, "is when you have nothing to work with."

With humour and charm, Macri brought his experience and wisdom to his presentation "Gold-Standard Design" at the 2012 Alberta Magazines Conference, sharing his strategies for great design.

Macri offers these important “things to know” when you're tackling a fresh issue or edition:

         •        Know Your Subject
         •        Know Your Product
         •        Know Your Audience

"Think of your magazine as a person," he says.

Macri says reaching a final product unfolds through a series of difficulties, along with many trials and errors. He uses design to solve problems, such as subjects not wanting their photo on the cover, or not having a photo of a subject at all. There is often more than one solution, Macri says. Often, he'll go through 50 trials in his process to produce a polished cover for ROB.

He does suggest a sly, but effective, method when an editor comes up with an idea that he doesn't think will work well. "Don't make it look good," he says. "If it's not the right idea, I'm wasting my time." 

Here are a few of Macri’s design tips: 

·      Font: every type size should be divisible by the next type
·      Headlines: try them in every version of your font available - capitals, without capitals, san serif, serif, light, bold and regular, etc
·      Body Copy: learn how to use the baseline and try colour type for texture
·      Infographics: don't overdo them, ask yourself what your reader will tolerate

But most of all, enjoy your work. "For me, having fun is everything," Macri says. 

--- Heather Setka