Get Inspired by Magazines Designed by FIDM’s Publication Design Students

Many of the students enrolled in the Graphic Design program at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising look forward to one class in particular: Publication Design. Combining many of the skills the students have developed in previous classes, from composition and conceptual development they’ve learned in Design I and Design II, to photography, typography and art direction, FIDM Publication Design Instructor, Randy Dunbar challenges his students to develop an entire magazine from scratch. Dunbar brings a wealth of knowledge after working in creative role for major publications such as Health, Self, Muscle & Fitness to Mademoiselle, Brides, GQ and Home.

“Magazine design is about telling stories from both a visual and typographical point of view over many pages, and for many students this is a challenge in both the concept and execution,” says Dunbar. “Magazine design is also a fast-paced environment where, given the amount of pages in a magazine, the designs need to be created quickly. While it is fast-paced, the attention to detail is never greater. Magazines are created to be read so the designs, while hopefully unique and original, must also convey a simplicity which invites understanding from the reader.

As part of the course, Dunbar challenges his students to visit areas around downtown Los Angeles, such as L.A. Live, Grand Central Market and Pershing Square, to photograph and develop into the feature story within their magazines.

“Great art, great design is always about taking the mundane and making it significant,” he says. “The assignment is to make eight pages of a feature story, and often the results can be astonishing. Many students are so conceptually original, their layouts could make a seasoned art director blush!”

Personally, the magazines developed by the Publication Design students never cease to amaze me. In 10 weeks (or sometimes less), these students develop a masthead, a table of contents, departments, a product spread, a feature story using their own photography, an more, tackling the type treatment, layout and page design.

For those who are hoping to break into the magazine publishing industry, the experience is truly worthwhile. Don’t take my word for it, check out two stunning examples below:

Angeles Magazine, designed by FIDM Graphic Design Student, Cody Saya:




To see the entire magazine in full screen, click the “expand” button below:

Angeles Magazine, designed by FIDM Graphic Design Student, Sarah Chiarot:




To see the entire magazine in full screen, click the “expand” button below:



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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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