• 3.26.14

    The Guardian's March Do Something Cover by Chrissie Macdonald

    Chrissie Macdonald made a box full of free fun – no added costs and no added boredom – for The Guardian's Do Something magazine, a monthly guide to stretching one's horizons, learning new skills, and living more intensely.

    "This is the first time I've worked with The Guardian so I was really excited to be asked to create a cover for them," Macdonald said. "The magazine's art director Chris Clarke asked me to create a box of fun incorporating a 'Free' starburst and cover lines to look like the ingredients, and I was given the content breakdown to select which items should burst out of it. We decided to make the masthead from card so it could be photographed with the box to place it in the same world."

    Macdonald submitted a rough sketch of the composition and content to be approved, with various color and typography options to choose from. "Once this was agreed on, I set about designing the box and elements on my computer, drawing up a set of templates that could be cut out of colored cards either by hand (with a scalpel) or with a plotter via my computer," she explained. "These pieces were then constructed to create the 3D forms. On set, I composed the elements against a Colorama background – some with the aid of clamps and stands – which were then lit and shot by photographer John Short, and refined by a retoucher." The Guardian team also animated the items springing out of the box for its iPad app using the photographed objects.

    "The scale of my pieces are often a bit of a mystery, as well as the question of how the image was created – whether it was made in the real world or not," Macdonald noted. "I hope the viewer is aware of the evidence of the handmade; although, I don't mind that it's a little ambiguous." As for the client, The Guardian folks were great to work with and "always very appreciative, which made the project a real pleasure to be part of."

    Photographer: John Short
    Art director: Chris Clarke
    Editor: Emma Cook

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