Gold and Glory: Issue 2
Lets look at the good stuff first.
There is quite a bit of content, around 25 pages of articles. It’s not too shabby, especially for such a fledgling publication. The army showcase and battle report in particular are of note. I have seen quite a few ezines on miniatures stumble at the challenge of presenting someones army in a digestible fashion, but Gold and Glory has succeeded in putting forth a clear, understandable showcase. Nice work.
The battle report also is quite good. Battle reports can be difficult to include, as quite a bit of writing is involved, as well as providing detailed pictures and the ability for the author to keep track of the moves of the battle. This battle report seems to succeed on all accounts, meaning that this issue has one of the best battle reports in an ezine so far.
These two good articles makes the rest of the publication that much harder to stomach. Especially when you compare this to issue 1.
First of all, the overall layout has gone backwards. Issue 1 had a nice, if widely overused, treasure map/parchment feel to it. Issue 2 offers up a terrible, urine coloured background that just never lets up. The body copy sizes jump about from article to article, destroying any semblance of consistency the magazine may have had. Even worse, the article headers are largely unreadable, with quite a few being awfully stretched, terribly chosen fonts and garish, eye torturing colour combinations.
Some of the illustrations are ok, but the overuse of pathetic and weedy clip-art is woeful. Clip-art should only be used for…. What am I saying! Clip-art is the spawn of the devil! And not cool, sexy spawn like in some hot Hollywood blockbuster. No! Just regular old spawn that everyone hates. And that falls over into a puddle in front of a cute girl. It’s that bad, it should be a sin.
Most of the articles look far to uninteresting. All huge blocks of justified text, it’s almost impenetrable. The men of Rohan should have hidden behind the pages of Gold and Glory issue 2, not languished in Helms Deep. It really needs to be lightened up a bit. More paragraphs have to be created, and the font chosen coupled with the block justification is just so oppressive. It could probably stand to be left justified. Ragged edges are terrific, they create space and visual interest, and communicate information to boot. It’s the design triple whammy!
So to conclude, I think the first thing that really needs to be looked at is setting a definite style. You really want you body copy and headings to be consistent throughout the publication. Other elements like the background and article content also need attention, but coming up with a core visual target should help to direct the energy of the ezine. You need a solid base to work from.