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We're All in This Together

An editorial design about the ride of a lifetime

This project was for a publication design class that I took. Our goal was to take a particularly long newspaper editorial and design it in only 4 spreads, not including a title spread. The article is called "We're All in this Together: The particular sheen of America by Amtrak," written by Caity Weaver who is a New York Times writer. The story follows Caitys personal journey and outlines her experiences on an Amtrak train going from New York all the way to Los Angeles.


Initial Research

In terms of research, the first step was to read the article and think about potential design. 

In terms of format, the essay is split up into four sections. The first section discusses the writer’s decision to take this journey and how she decided on the route that she did. The second section describes the accommodations of the train and the first leg of her journey from New York to Chicago. The section after that talks about how much the author enjoyed the company and conversation with some of the unique people she met aboard her train. Finally, the last section encapsulates the beautiful sights that the writer saw during her journey in the sightseer lounge, and describes her enjoyment at having chosen to embark on this trip.

When thinking about design, the last section of the essay describes the sunsets and the other various mountainous and breathtaking sights she saw. This inspires me to use a lot of scenic photography within my designs to capture that beauty experienced by the author. I think in terms of photography of the trains, I will have very little trouble getting good photos, since there are a multitude of train stations in Chicago. Throughout the essay, the author felt very relaxed and at peace, which is something that I want to try to convey throughout my designs. I will try to create a simple rhythm in my spreads, so that they feel simple and relaxed, without much chaos. In terms of typography, for headlines I think I want to find a typeface that is similar to the Amtrak logo- very bold and extended, because it will be able to communicate the feel of the company and also the feel of the train that the reader experienced.

First Drafts

The first step in the process of designing this magazine editorial was to design the opening spread. I wanted the opening to be attention grabbing and convey the plot of the story. In a quick initial exercise, I created multiple drafts of a possible opening spread. 


Iterations & Body Spreads

After designing some opening spreads and receiving feedback, the next steps were to design the body spreads as well as refine the opening spread. Here are some initial body spread designs. 

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Final Designs

Multiple iterations later, the final designs were created. I wanted to use two lines as a design element on the page to imitate train tracks and keep the readers eyes moving forward.

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