Bound By Ink
Ozzie Winner: Best New Design, Consumer
When veteran creative director Alan Alpanian was first approached with the idea of launching a tattoo magazine, he responded, â€śThat sounds great, but Iâ€™d like to make it unlike anything else in existence from a delivery standpoint.â€ť
Alpanian knew there was an opportunity due to the increased popularity of tattoos, but he also knew from looking at the existing magazines in that space that there was a lot of room for enhancement.
â€śWhat we saw was that the majority of magazines were focusing on close-up photography of tattoos, with an occasional story about an individual,â€ť he says. â€śWhat we wanted to focus on was the lifestyle that goes with the storyâ€”what the tattoos meant to the individual, and their adventures, life and journey as a tattoo enthusiast.â€ť
To facilitate the artwork and striking design, Alpanian decided on a 9â€ť by 10 7/8â€ť format. â€śWe use the larger format to accommodate our use of cool typography and striking photography.Â The wider format provides us with an opportunity to do more with a page, especially when itâ€™s photo-driven.â€ť
The pacing of the magazine is another area in which Alpanian decided to break some rules. â€śUnlike traditional titles, where they will put departments up front, we open up with features right after the editorâ€™s page. But weâ€™re constantly going to be chiseling and evolving the magazine, as we have over the last four issues. The goal, as a brand, is to never stand still.â€ť
Alpanian works with his senior photographer, Andy Hartmark, on covers and most of the inside of the magazine. He found Hartmark on MySpace. â€śHe is an independent photographer, specializing in tattoo subjects, and his approach was very much in line with my vision of how the magazine should look.â€ť
Regarding ongoing design elements, Alpanian says, â€śAlthough we vary typography from story to story, there is a visual thread to the design that is very much noticeable and recognizable.Â Weâ€™re basically carving our own look through the use of typography and photography as well as how we use graphics devices as decorations around the page.â€ť
The year-old quarterly magazine now has a circulation of 175,000, and a very active supporting Web site and Facebook group.