Uncle Beth is a queer parenting magazine. Geared toward folks typically left out of the parenting conversation, Uncle Beth fills a gap in the conversation and provides support and information to a new generation of parents. Someone you can trust to give you good advice, UB provides some relief from the chaos of your daily life and reflects your life back to you in a way that feels comforting, loving, and humorous. Uncle Beth is your friend that gets it.
My Role: concept, branding, layout, typography | Duration: 10 weeks
The cover for the inaugural issue, drawn by by Sara Andreasson and used under Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
UB moves away from other parenting mags in its visual style as well as its editorial tone. The visual style is playful but is always organized and easy to read. Typography and layouts are expressive but restrained. When your world is primarily occupied by bright colors, loud noises, and five different typefaces in one poster, UB provides welcome relief. UB recognizes that even though you have kids, you are also an adult that wants to read grown up things.
Editorial content centers queer experiences through features as well as language that intentionally steers clear of gendered language and pronouns. UB understands that moms aren’t always the ones doing all the work. The magazine’s ultimate goal is to help people feel seen and recognized—families with donor dads, single moms by choice, coparenting communities—all are recognized within the pages of Uncle Beth.
I began the project by establishing the magazine's brand characteristics: complex, relatable, dynamic, irreverent. From there I created a moodboard of style inspirations, as well as some sample reader profiles to guide the look and feel of the magazine as well as the editorial content. I combed through social media accounts to gain insight into readers, learning more about what they are sharing, asking questions about, and posting pictures of. After refining these tools, I gathered content and created a flatplan for the magazine, organizing the content in a way that is easily readable and accessible to our varied demographic. The magazine primarily consists of shorter articles, meant to be read quickly—Uncle Beth understands that our readers don't always have time for a long read.
The biggest challenge with this project was also its stated purpose. Since part of the magazine's goal is to represent a variety of identities and experiences, there is also not one typical reader or demographic that the magazine is for. Additionally, along with featuring a variety of experiences comes a variety of financial situations. Not all readers would have a lot of money or time to invest in buying and reading an expensive magazine. How do I create something that expresses these ideas visually, while also addressing these challenges? Design wise, the visuals and typography are somewhere between photocopied 'zine and a YA magazine: interesting layouts that aren't too crazy; designs that are youth-inspired but meant for adults. Printing costs are kept down through the use of two spot colors for the guts. Editorial content features a variety of experiences, and language remains neutral in gender and pronoun usage.