Early Magazine main page

Early magazine is a work magazine for real life, brought to life by the minds behind Bright + Early. Co-editors Nora Jenkins and Sydney Allen-Ash tell stories about work that are immersed in real life and all the messiness, complexity and nuance that comes with it. Early Magazine also is home to all the Bright + Early guides, including the Expecting Playbook.
The goal with this project was to design something unique and unexpected. A little bit retro, a little bit "skate zine", and totally real.
The result is a flexible Webflow CMS with multiple page templates that allows authors and editors to quickly and easily post articles, guides, and interviews with unique page layouts that are dripping with style.
Disenchanted with the corporate jargon, hollow platitudes and old-school thinking of traditional HR and business writing, the team behind Bright + Early chose instead to create Early Magazine, a place to tell stories about work that are immersed in real life and all the messiness, complexity and nuance that comes with it. 
While acting as creative director at Bright + Early, I worked on designs in Figma and built Early Magazine in entirely in Webflow, using a simple CMS that the authors and editors could easily work with.

Early Magazine on mobile

Design Strategy
The strategy behind the design system for Early Magazine stood on Bright + Early's brand pillars:
• Work As A Lens On The World
• People First
• Action-Oriented
• Inclusion Drives Innovation
• The Hard Truth
• We're Not For Everyone
Inspiration was taken from Wealthsimple Magazine, apartamento, and Bloomberg Businessweek in particular. "The BBW staff figured that 'tasteful' design was the most cowardly move of all, a denial of the real world's beautiful messiness."

Art direction by Sam Jayne

Final Presentation
The desktop layout is quite unique, with the main navigation being on the left margin of the screen. This presented some original design and coding challenges as I was building the site, but it was a really fun challenge. It was refreshing working with an inspired, anti-aesthetic design system. Shoutout to Sam Jayne.
Built in Webflow and totally responsive, the magazine features different article templates based on category. Authors have to simply select a category, choose an accent colour from a dropdown and an editor uploads a graphic. Dead easy.

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