When story meets design

Alyssa Mosher - From the editor (Tom Bateman/AQ)

When I came back home after living in Pasumalai, Tamil Nadu, India for a month, I experienced what some would call reverse culture shock: Canada was more unfamiliar than India had ever been.

And for the longest time I had no idea how to show people what I meant.

I had planned the trip a year in advance and didn’t even ask my parents for permission. I knew I was going to pay for the trip myself, so it wasn’t an issue.

I worked – well, interned without pay – for the only English monthly magazine in the city.  It was always different and often frustrating but also unbelievably satisfying. India made me discover that great feeling in its truest form – happiness.

And while it’s usually easy for me to write about something as honest as happiness, it took me eight months to figure out what I wanted to say.

But I knew a centrespread would be waiting for me – no matter how long I took.

You may have heard the term “centrespread” thrown loosely around campus. I don’t think it’s a real word, but The Aquinian has certainly made it one.

It’s the two pages in the centre of our paper, pages 8 and 9, where there’s no gutter and we can spread copy and photos across the page.

Last year’s editor-in-chief initiated it. She wanted The Aquinian to have a place for long features, something that isn’t always possible in a 16-page paper.

As editor-in-chief this year, I wanted to keep the centrespread going. It’s something we want to be proud of every week, somewhere to showcase talent whether we find it in the writing, photos, graphics, or design.

We want to experiment with design; it’s meant to be more magazine- like. We want to give room – and colour – for our visual maestro Tom Bateman and our layout master Shane Magee.

It’s a place where writers can take their time telling a great story that doesn’t quite fit in our news or features sections.

I think most importantly though, the centrespread is about showcasing perspective, like Ania Ferensowicz does this week with her story on landmines in the Golan Heights between Syria and Israel and like I did last year when I found happiness in India.

It’s about giving STU students – not just journalism students – the freedom to do something really great, whether it’s as serious as landmines or as fun as a fashion spread.

We’ve got quite a few planned this year, but The Aquinian is always open to suggestions; we can help make your experience – your vision – come to life.

Enter The Aquinian’s centrespread.

If you have any centrespread ideas, email The Aquinian’s managing editor Laura Brown at business@theaq.net.

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