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Editorial Design

Either you've been recommended it in a high-brow supplement. Or by a friend whose opinion you wholeheartedly trust. Or you know it intuitively. Your interest in a publication comes from various sources. But if any of these sources dries up, what attracts you to a publication is the first thing you see: its cover.
Editorial design - Vasava

The first word is image

Depending on what it's like, either you talk about love at first sight or 'don't even touch me with a bargepole'. And the whole thing about 'first impressions last' isn't alien to us.

[For the record, we believe that beauty comes from within, also in editorial design. An amazing cover ends up totally ignored if the editorial design inside, the typefaces, the images, the typographic hierarchies, the content, etc. aren't on the same level].

The magic formula to attract people doesn't exist. There's no predefined rule that shows you how to seduce a reader.

What is clear is that the shape, the cover, the pages inside, the font or the type of paper (in the case of physical publications) have an important weighting at the time of inviting people to read the publication, and they're irremediably determined (or should be) by the background of the publication.
Editorial design - Vasava
Editorial design is how you get potential readers to end up as buyers, almost as if by magic: the user connects with the word through design; they come across the title, the author and the publisher; they turn the pages and find the back cover and a text that leaves them wanting more; they turn the pages again; love at first sight; they open the book and let themselves get immersed in the words and what they want to say. Editorial design is responsible for creating this ritual of courtship and mating.

Editorial design is a branch of graphic design specialised in publications, such as books, magazines, articles, newspapers, catalogues, leaflets, brochures, covers, and so on. It's all about the internal and external aesthetics of these texts or contents. We could say that editorial design is responsible for the architecture of publications, or that it's the framework through which a given story is read and interpreted, and that it consists of the overall distribution of the publication and the specific handling of the story.
Editorial design - Vasava
The user connects with the word through design
Some see it as an art because it fuses creativity and a mastery of technique to arouse interest. Or because image and word coexist harmoniously and peacefully. We think alike, but we don't forget about the technical and functional aspects that optimise aspects such as readability. Beauty and functionality. Fifty-fifty. Do we accept functional art as an aquatic animal? Say it as you wish.

This is one of the most effective disciplines of graphic design when presenting specific content to a specific audience. The use of images (photos and illustrations) and the high density of written content come together to produce an ideal format to develop any type of subject matter in depth and to deal extensively with everything related to information architecture.
Editorial design - Vasava

The one about to die says hello

The death of paper has been predicted for quite some time now, as if it were a zombie apocalypse.

Paper is probably not the best communicator, nor the fastest, but it's an ideal medium to convey 'values' that other formats can't. The type of paper, the grammage, the feel, the finishes, the chosen ink, etc. sometimes convey as much as or more than the content on the paper.

But it seems that there's a huge chunk of consumers who are willing to condemn paper to death as a universal means of expression. Although we're reluctant to fully accept it, we just have to swallow the truth without even chewing it.

Every day there are more eyes staring at a screen and fewer looking at paper (just sit on a bus and check out your fellow passengers). The only truth is that strict 'readers' as such are heading towards extinction like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, while 'viewers' of screens are reproducing like rabbits.

We're surrounded by viewers of screens

This isn't a good omen. But even today, people still argue that magazines, books, catalogues, works of art and newspapers haven't disappeared or won't disappear, despite the Internet and audiovisual overload. And backed up by this blind faith, we have the obligation to take advantage of each and every one of the possibilities of paper to turn it into a vehicle of feelings and a product with added value.

And that happens by freeing yourself from the shackles of old-school publishing or the stone-age format of texts and columns, and making the content on said paper attractive. Faced with the void created by the constant movement, noise and breakneck speed of images, we reflect and we look for a way to keep paper competitive.
Editorial design - Vasava
We like to think that paper is like Willy to us and that hordes of people are approaching Vasava's door shouting, "Free Willy". There are still romantics like us who yearn for the tactile experience of turning over pages and who are madly in love with paper.

Despite the aforementioned prediction of the death of paper, editorial design doesn't need to be released and neither is it in the doldrums.

Practically the opposite is true: magazines, newspapers and publications are still being launched and read avidly. Specialised and industry-specific publications are still working and perfectly fulfilling their role. What's totally true is that a lot of 'rubbish' has stopped being printed. To give an example, answer this question: who needs a paper flyer from a supermarket? You know the response.
90% of human beings have a more visual memory than an auditory or kinaesthetic memory

Rubbish is no longer printed

What's more, digital media (damn screens, the grouches say) hasn't come (just) to kill off paper: it's here to stay and to share the stage with traditional formats, multiplying the editorial options that we can apply to our communication projects.

What are the most defining elements of our approach to editorial design?

The formats

There are different expressions of editorial design. Magazines, newspapers and books are the stars. But there are many other types of publications for which we carry out this discipline.

Any publication that sets out to communicate an idea or tell a story through the organisation and presentation of words and graphic elements will need editorial design, so we don't limit ourselves to strictly traditional formats:

Paper: brochures, magazines, catalogues, monographs, books, booklets, yearbooks, comic books, fanzines, reports, etc. Digital: ebooks, catalogues, digital magazines, yearbooks, etc.
Editorial design - Vasava

The art direction

Art direction guides us strategically throughout the publication and will directly affect all the creative solutions adopted for its preparation. All the formal decisions made will pass through the sieve of the art direction that we use:

Terry Jones had in mind a handmade punk-style fanzine when he took over the art direction of i-D. The folding, set-ups, layers, photocopies or screen prints were a tool to reduce the readability of texts, forcing the reader to slow down and stop at the pages.

We're obsessed with coherence: any type of art direction that we define covers every corner of the publication in front of us.
Editorial design - Vasava

The photography and the illustration

90% of human beings have a more visual memory than an auditory or kinaesthetic memory, making it clear why the use of images (photos or illustrations) is so important for all types of publications, whether virtual or printed.

Photographers and illustrators can take a story to another level with their interpretation of the narrative.

Editorial illustration conceptualises the theme that a specific publication will convey. The levels of representation vary, as we can swing from total abstraction to the most faithful realism.

In a certain genre of painting, a primarily aesthetic fact is posed, where the composition and use of colour usually prevail over the anecdote. In editorial illustration, however, there's always a more obvious and direct narrative. As a result, illustration for us is the sum of aesthetic quality, great techniques and narrative originality.

The definition of the appropriate photographic style, the choice of the photographers used, the definition of the type of illustration needed and the illustrator who executes it are key decisions for the development and happy ending of a project. At Vasava we've been working on editorial projects for two decades, so we use the best photographers and illustrators and we have more than enough knowledge to select the most suitable one for each project.
Editorial design - Vasava

The typography

Typography and microtypography play a key role in the construction of a solid editorial project. We're fully aware that the tone we convey in our communication will be firmly marked by the typographical choice and the visual and functional treatments that we give it.

The tone is for us the star of any type of publication: thanks to it, ideas adopt a visual form.

Typography has its maximum expression in the text and in the characters of the paragraphs. But artistic compositions can also be made, especially on book covers.

Besides aesthetic criteria and art direction, we select a typeface according to the target audience of the publication, its typographical tradition, its format and the message it wishes to convey.

The most notable legacy of Neville Brody, designer of The Face, revolves around typography. He broke with the traditions of typographic construction and used it as an element of design that was almost indistinguishable from images and that itself conveyed its own meanings.

The written content

Editing the content and respecting an idea or an editorial concept cannot be taken lightly. We work on each project with a steel grip to create coherent content that responds to the purposes and goals of the brands and to the concepts that we've jointly defined. A specialised editor is in charge of coordinating the content, directing the editorial tone and selecting which editors (scrupulously chosen from our select network of collaborators) are best for each project, depending on their style. In multilingual publications or productions in different languages, we also have the resources and collaborators that guarantee a correct translation to all final formats.
Editorial design - Vasava

The quality control and the production

There's no point in wonderful art direction, an exquisite typographical selection, a neat design and relevant content if they're ruined by poor print quality or production errors.

Carefully selecting the materials and suppliers and performing a thorough quality control process is something that every editorial design project needs to have under total control. And we know how to do it because we have extensive experience in controlling pre-printing, printing and all sub-processes (photomechanical prints, separation of inks, control of plates, photolith films, colour tests, special extensions, die cuts, folding, bindings, etc.).

Quite a few elements, in fact. First of all, we take care of assessing each one of them, and then we do everything possible for them to sit side by side without issues. We believe that finding and creating a perfect balance is fundamental. It's the only way to create visual conversations between them that seduce anyone who consumes the end result. It's a challenge that we have taken on many times in our twenty years of life, so whoever wants to think about it again, just don't hold back.
Editorial design - Vasava