Above Sea Level

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The next Stack Magazine I received was ‘Above Sea Level’, exploring the relationship between wine, food, design, people and places. I’m not particularly interested in wine however it is such a beautiful, handcrafted magazine with well thought out layout and finer detail.

The character of Above Sea Level is dependent on the place it travels to; I enjoyed seeing Portugal’s landscape and history which was the inspiration behind this issue.

The craft, uncoated paper adds to the hand-made nature of the magazine, and makes it feel personal and intimate. This, as well as the beautiful photography presents content that is full of character. I particularly like how they have captured the scenery of the vineyards from a myriad of perspectives - each small image coming together to form the full picture and presentation of the reality. We are taken on the travel exhibition along with the artists, tracing the vineyards from the north to the south, meeting the farmers and producers along the way.

I especially love this magazine for the layout inspiration that I hope to use in future projects and summative submissions. The layout is minimal, with the imagery highlighting the key points in the text, allowing the viewer to visualise the locations and be immersed in the history. It has reinforced to me that a clean layout is effective in allowing the narrative to flow throughout, without overwhelming the audience. I found the heading pages equally as successful, having one block-colour full-bleed page with the title central and a supporting adjacent image. I have tried to carry this through to my own summative project, making the new sections clear, separating them with a strong image and clear subheading. The colours are bold, yet complementary and the texture of the opposite page juxtaposes the smooth title page, which looks very effective.

Near the back of the magazine, I liked the illustrations of the Field Blends - the paint brush strokes were simple yet effective, showing the structure details of the greenery and nature. These are so simple to recreate, yet they look effortless on the page and add another dimension to an otherwise heavily photography based magazine.

Throughout, the imagery and page composition work seamlessly together; this is something that I really want to work on going into next semester.


FCPRachel Fox