Calliope: Literary and Arts Magazine

Calliope is University of the Pacific’s student-produced Literary and Arts Magazine. Every year the best short stories, poetry, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs are collected to showcase the student creative talent at Pacific. I was selected to be one of the design editors for the magazine and helped to curate the student artwork as well as produce the magazine in its physical form. Many conceptual meetings went into the process as well, trying to develop a title, pairing artwork with literary pieces, and deciding the order and flow of the magazine. 

Traditionally, the cover has always had a depiction of the Magazine’s muse, Calliope. Calliope is the muse of heroic poetry in Greek mythology. This year’s team decided on the title Opia: Revealing the I, and thus wanted to use the eyes as a mode of looking into a person. We wanted the gaze of the muse to be both mysterious and piercing and have the flow of her hair and dress represent the fluidity and changeability of a personality. I was involved in developing the conceptual direction and providing extensive feedback, but the cover art was beautifully illustrated by two of my colleagues. 

Part of the benefit of working on Calliope was getting to collaborate with other designers, our advisors, and the literary editors. Calliope involved more conceptual meetings than any other project I have worked on and many more file transfers between editors. The design team worked out of a dropbox folder so that we would all have access to the files. We could also easily view and give feedback to the other designers when asked. Through this process, the cover made several transformations from simple and sketchy, to realistic and detailed. The typography made its transformation too as we explored several options for the inside layout and placement for the cover. 

The goal with the layout of the magazine was to make an elegant clean spread while also establishing flexibility for the variety of work being showcased. For a classic look, a script typeface was chosen for display and header type. I paired it with a serif typeface for body copy to foster both readability and a timeless look. Artwork and Literary pieces were alternated and paired based on their content and themes. Everything, of course, was laid out on a baseline grid for consistency.