Lithuanian art and design beholds a rich history stretching across its Soviet past to its historic Baltic tribes. Daile, a publication representing Lithuanian art has a long narrative dating back to when it was first published in 1960, and has recently been redesigned by the Lithuanian creative studio Boy. Throughout the process, the Vilnius-based studio faced the challenge of redesigning a magazine that pays tribute to the magazine’s bountiful legacy. Boy tells It’s Nice That that with “this old history in mind, we realised that the magazine represents our art on a national level”, setting the tone for an accessible redesign.
With a strong sense of responsibility to deliver a redesign that encapsulates the creative efforts of Lithuania, Boy approached the project with a thorough research task which involved “flipping through hundreds of beautiful pages of the old issues of the magazine”. Sifting through the national public library archives, Boy took inspiration from the aged pages “with their soft look and faded feel” adding that, “we wanted to keep that feel, combining the look and senses of the old days with a modern twist”.
The studio borrow a few specific things from the Daile archive, for instance the table of contents is on a narrower page than the rest of the magazine for functional purposes. During the age of pre-digital design before graphic designers had InDesign to mark their margins, gutters and baseline grids, hand-drawn lines provided the whole structure to the layout of a page. The designers at Boy picked up on the idiosyncrasies of the lines that “are drawn by naturally shaky hands” and “this shakiness also gives us feelings of the past.” Pre-digital graphic design wasn’t as sharp and slick as it is today but “being handmade added sincerity” to a design. Daile’s revamp adheres to these tiny nods of character, “sticking to quite a dim, soft colour palette” to reflect the ageing pages of the magazine’s older issues.
Although Daile has had a steady audience for many years, the design had not been updated for more than a decade and was considered outdated. Boy has revamped the design from looking like a traditional art album to a forward-thinking publication that features contemporary typefaces that are both comfortable and unusual. Featuring Good Type’s Chapter Bold, Radim Pesko Digital Type Foundry’s F Grotesk Thin and Velvetyne Type Foundry’s Sporting Grotesque, the use of these unique typefaces provide a uniform consistency to the otherwise quirky magazine.
Colour coded tabs also divide the chapters of the magazine and different articles have a number of various layouts consisting of one to three text columns to display information and text in a playful way. “Since the magazine is about art, we let ourselves play around a bit”, says Boy. The designers inject some fun elements such as moving page numbers that travel to the right of the magazine while the viewer progresses through the magazine. Additionally, the variety of different paper stocks and the trimmed cover design all disrupt the order and neatness of a traditional publication for a truly impactful redesign.
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