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An antidote to apathy

Day 1 of RCA Editorial short course: “Design a publication that looks into something that interests you. Oh, and you’ve got 5 days to do come up with the concept, question every design choice you make, print and bind it.” 


So I set about tackling the light and breezy concept of social apathy, creating a publication that aims to break down some of the barriers we meet when facing difficult topics, not something we are short of in current times. 

Pathos is intended to be a weekly publication that takes one important, but perhaps difficult to stomach article released that week, presenting nothing but the information, no adverts and no distractions, in a format that asks the reader to engage with what they’ve read. The cure for apathy is said to be comprehension, Pathos aims to create maximum understanding of the subject through it’s design.


Format & layout

Pathos is not precious, it is intended to be read, handled over and over, to be engaged with. Single colour black print ensures it’s cheap to make and produce on a weekly basis. The ring bind allows the publication to be read like a note book without pages turning back and interrupting reading.


Layout: Starting with a horizontal layout, once that article begins it switches to vertical so the reader has to actively move the document and engage to read. The article is always split into 7 sections. For short term memory, 7 is the optimum number of ‘chunks’ that allow information to be retained. Summarised into the 7 key points, the article runs section by section, with an analogue scrolling scale to show where in the full piece you are as each section starts. Running in a single column width throughout, the document emulates the long vertical scroll of online articles, without the intimidation and adverts to distract. The typography starts large and then reduces in scale as you enter and finish up each section to ease the reader in and out.

At the end of each section there is a space to pause and reflect on what has been read, to take notes and engage with what the information means to us as individuals. At the end of the article there is a glossary for any jargon that might not be understood, again, for maximum comprehension of the content. Finally a self reflective apathy evaluation awaits the reader at the end, to trigger thoughts on how keep engaging.

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