Kicking off a new series of Wayward Arts Magazine, TAXI takes a collaborative approach to the theme of 'Obsession', inviting team members to share creative interpretations of Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat.
"When Flash asked TAXI to collaborate with them to come up with the theme for the 2014 editions of Wayward Arts Magazine we jumped at the chance" explains Dave Watson, CD Design at TAXI. "We wanted a theme that was both compelling and versatile so that other design studios could interpret it in a number of different ways. We bounced around a huge number of themes before we finally landed on Obsession."
The next step was to develop a specific theme for the first Obsession issue of the series. ACD at TAXI Dave Luxton brought forward the idea of tackling Poe's short story which tells the tale of a man who, with the help of alcohol, becomes obsessed with his pet cat. "We all agreed that we had found our concept," says Dave. "We would take the story and tell it through Poe's words and our visuals."
"One of the most interesting aspects of the process is that we invited all of the designers at TAXI to participate in the magazine’s design. We printed the story out and cut it up into 12 sections, which we placed in a hat. Very democratic and very exciting."
After divvying up the story, the next step was to develop parameters for the design to help maintain a cohesive look and feel for the final piece. "I was worried that with so many designers involved, the design might turn into a hot mess. The parameters helped "herd the cats”, so to speak."
Black was mandated as the primary colour of the magazine, with any additional colours restricted to accents only. Each spread also had to incorporate a cat in some way. "We were very pleased (and more than a little relieved) to see that the final magazine holds together quite well."
A roll fold at the back of the magazine makes it possible for readers to see the full story while they enjoy each spread.
Elements such as the scratch-off ink on spread 12 make this issue of Wayward Arts challenging from a production perspective, adding to what makes the magazine series so unique. "This was my first time working with Flash and while the relationship was brand new, we could quickly see that they had as much passion for the issue as we did," says Dave. "They recently told me that this issue was the most challenging one to date - impressive, considering the complex designs from last year such as Bees and 01/100. It was our first chance to use the scratch-off technique and we tried our best to weave it into the story seamlessly."
"Personally speaking it was one of the best (and most fun) collaborative projects I have ever worked on. All the designers got really into the story, as did the talented illustrators we worked with. Our hope is that people enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed making it. Thank you Flash and Unisource. Thank you Mr Poe."
About Wayward Arts
Wayward Arts is a monthly publication printed by Flash Reproductions, with paper provided by Unisource Canada in conjunction with their mill suppliers. A different design firm is invited to curate each issue, changing the design, layout, colours, mood and paper to reflect their interpretation of the year’s over-arching theme.
Copies can be obtained by request at waywardarts.ca/subscribe.