Since its inception in 2018 I’ve been part of the team at off screen – an independent online film magazine and community, designing the visual language as well designing, building and maintaining the website.
The visual language
Off-Screens visual language is guided by the founders vision – creating an independent online publication, a distraction free space for people who are passionate about the art and the experience of cinema to read thoughtful articles and reviews.
Inspired by the immersive experience of going to the cinema, the website utilizes film stills both as cover photos and as illustrations. The wide aspect ratios and black contours at the top and bottom of the web page are a reference to the big screen.
We where aware of the difficulties of reading long articles on a screen, nd therefore chose a monochromatic pallette and paid close attention to typography and readability.
As of late 2021, we are working on a redesign, aiming to better fit the scaling in activity, improve workflow within the team and increased social media presence.
👁️🗨️ Over the past year the magazine has gathered a large following of about 2,000 monthly readers, hosting live screenings at cinemas and festivals, and have recently received grants form Mifaal HaPais Council for the Culture and Arts.
Deep-cuts and Shortcuts
The websites homepage is divided in two sections, each highlighting one of two categories:
Shortcuts- posts and reviews about new films and topical subjects published on a weekly basis, and Editions- a collection of in depth articles centered around a theme, curated by a guest editor and published quarterly.
The two-section layout is present in the inner pages as well, allowing for plenty of white space and a focused reading expirience.
The first asset made for the project, designed in 2018, was the logotype.
I took inspiration form Japanese name stamps and titles designed by the iconic Saul Bass, mainly the classic poster for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. The process started with a collage, breaking and reassembling the lettering from the original poster and expiramenting with the letterforms and composition.
Once a general composition was established, we decided to remove the tags and smooth the lines for a cleaner look and improved readability.
👁️🗨️ The name “Off-Screen” is derived from script writing syntax, indicating an action happening outside of the frame.
The Cinephiles identity
Off-Screen has always been about the writers, many of whom are young and talented film professionals and academics at the start of their carriers.
For the “about” section of the website, we wanted to express the diversity of the writing team. Given that we’ve already cited famous film stills around the website, the solution was simple: each team member chose a character which they identify with to represent them.
This section ended up being one of my favorites. It fills its function in a unique way, serves as a subtle node to the Cinephile culture that inspired the project – all while relieving the team from the stress of choosing a profile picture, of which we are all too familiar with.
🧡 This project happend thanks to the initiative of the Magazines founders, Yuval Parnass-Madar and Ohad Amichai.