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July 27, 2017

Executing | Marie Otsuka, MFA GD ’18 & Lauren Campbell, MFA GD ’18

by ltraugot

Since our last post, we’ve settled into Barcelona, where we’ll be working for the remainder of the internship. We’ve reached a point where, save a few outstanding design decisions, we’re ready to execute the website and publication. In the past week, we’ve finalized the logo and new content organization system, and began building the structure of the website.


LTM’s new logo. The backwards arrows harkens to an older technology, as well as the battle that skeptics of high-tech solutions face.


A website mockup that will continue to evolve.

Recognizing the increasing difficulties of succeeding in the magazine realm, Low-Tech Magazine’s founder has decided to publish a book instead of an on-going, design-intensive publication. This decision opens up the possibility for us to go deep into certain design decisions that would be more labor-intensive and/or too difficult to sustain for a periodical. For example, we’ve been exploring setting some of the book’s text with a typewriter or printing it with a dot-matrix printer. The typewriter would require more labor on our part as it is much faster to set text in InDesign, but it would allow us to use a forgotten low-tech machine that would minimize the use of our energy-intensive computers and free us from being tethered to walls through a charger. The dot-matrix printer prints with small dots instead of full swaths of ink, ultimately saving ink by leaving small gaps that today’s laser and inkjet printers fill in. We’ll be testing out these low-tech alternatives as well as a few others in the coming days to see if and how they can be integrated into the book design.


Typical output from a dot matrix printer operating in draft mode. This entire image represents an area of printer output approximately 4.5 cm × 1.5 cm (1.77 in × 0.59 in) in size. Source

We have a number of time-intensive tasks ahead of us (migrating over 100 articles, color-treating hundreds of photos, etc.), but we’re really exciting to have arrived at this state of execution. At every stage, we’ve been able to further our research into low-tech printing and web design, and we’re looking forward to consolidating these findings (some of which we’ve detailed in previous posts) once we get back to the US.

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