Hole in the Wall Magazine

Category: Print, Art Direction, Layout, Illustration, Copywrite
Roles: Art Direction, Illustration, Production, Sourcing, Research
Timeframe: 8 Weeks

Overview

To begin, I enlisted all my friends who are excited by food to write an article in exchange for a copy of the magazine or a lunch date. Hole in the Wall Magazine exists to show the side of Seattle's food and nightlife culture that is at risk due to the rapid expansion of the city. The side of Seattle that is a bit weirder, provocative, and opposite the sterile tech culture that seems to be taking over. With the massive influx of people moving to the city I grew up in and hold dearly to my heart, I want to expose people to minority-owned businesses and encourage folks to eat more interesting food. 

Goals

In regards to the project, I wanted to make something that was all original. The articles are all from people I know and the illustrations were done based off their stories. Personally, my goals were to inspire people to eat good food, support small businesses and have the chance to practice an illustration style a bit outside my comfort zone. Overall, the goal was to make a magazine doing everything ourselves from start to finish. People eat at mediocre chains while local gems are slowly going out of business, especially since covid. I want to give people a chance to support small businesses and expand their horizons by showing them a variety of hole-in-the-wall restaurants, dingy clubs with live music, and random corner stores with delicious food. The goal is not to overwhelm small businesses or ruin people’s secret spots but to give people a reason to preserve Seattle's alternative culture.

Reader Personas & Style Guide

Research

Through surveys sent out over social media and focus groups, I discovered that the magazine's readership was predominantly composed of young adults between the ages of 22-55, with a majority of the readers identifying as upper class. Additionally, the data showed that the readers had a strong interest in trying new foods and exploring different cultural experiences, particularly those that were underrepresented in mainstream media. These findings were crucial in informing the content and marketing strategy of the magazine, as they highlighted the importance of providing diverse and inclusive representation of small businesses and nightlife scenes in the magazine's editorial content.

Process

First, friends and family were asked to write articles about some of their favorite local spots. After gathering the articles, they were organized by likeness and arranged in a flat plan. I gave the authors full freedom of the restaurant or bar and used the themes to make various sections of the magazine. After reading the articles, it was a matter of finding tidbits from the articles that seemed logical and fun to illustrate. Some of the spot illustrations came from great meals or blurbs about food, while others came from personal stories.

Solution

It is clear that Hole in the Wall magazine has a unique opportunity to showcase Seattle's diverse and eclectic food and nightlife scene to a young and affluent readership. To achieve this, the magazine focuses on featuring underrepresented small businesses owned by people of color, highlighting the richness and variety of their food and cultural experiences. In addition, the magazine can collaborate with local businesses and community organizations to host events and promote small business growth. By doing so, Hole in the Wall magazine can not only contribute to the preservation of Seattle's unique culture but also empower local communities and foster inclusivity in the city's rapidly changing landscape.

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