valid. is a fictional quarterly magazine that focuses on the Canadian LGBTQ+ community. The magazine aims to provide a safe space for all individuals to express themselves, be vulnerable, valued, inspired and celebrated for their diversity.


Self-directed (School project)



Editorial Design, Branding, Typography, Copywriting Photography

Tools Used

InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop


Alessandro Barone (Writing) Calvin Campos (Writing & Model), Blake Harris (Writing) Katelyn O’Brien (Photography)

The Challenge

The Outcome

To create the first issue of a magazine of our choice, centred around a specific theme. Spanning an entire semester of our Editorial class at Humber College, we were also expected to create a visual identity for our magazine, a cohesive grid system, as well as source advertisements, copy, and photographs.

The creation of the Winter 2018 issue of valid. which includes content reflecting topics such as self-love, transitioning, redefining gender, and pride (Specs: 76 pages | 8.24” x 11.7”).


The Goal

The goal for this project was to create a magazine that focuses on the Canadian LGBTQ+ community. This topic encompasses a very niche community, that deserves to have their own platform to share their hardships, accomplishments and everything in-between. I found that the LGBTQ+ community in general has more of an online presence, so with this magazine, I strived to establish and grow their presence in print. I hope that this magazine resonates and inspires readers, and it becomes a unique and special publication that adds growth to this progressive community within Canada.


Research I purchased several magazines that shared a similar style that I had in mind for my own magazine, such as: Kinfolk, esse arts + opinionsApplied ArtsFrontierNational Geographic, and Fast Company. I used these magazines as resources for grid layouts, numerous layout ideas, different photography styles, type treatments throughout the magazine, as well as an idea of the size I wanted my magazine to be.

Researching competitors in my market (both online and print) and conducting this research analysis between competitors, allowed me to have a better understanding of how to create an effective strategy for my magazine, and allow it to stand out in the market.



To create a magazine only focusing on the LGBTQ+ community across Canada, that provides a safe space for all LGBTQ+ individuals to express themselves, be vulnerable, and are celebrated and valued for their diversity. This magazine will be targeted towards inspiring and helping other LGBTQ+ individuals, and give them a sense of comfort that they are not going through situations alone.

The primary target market are Canadian individuals who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, aged 16–26. My secondary target market are individuals aged 16–26+ who are not part of this community, but are interested in gaining more insight and knowledge into the community. The style that I was achieving through this magazine was similar to the style of most current arts and culture magazines, however, I did not want to make my magazine “trendy.” I wanted the design to be very current, yet timeless and adaptable for future publications. I aspired to create a magazine that is very welcoming and engaging to readers through the use of stunning photography. Some other features include, lots of white space, use of large images and numerous photo galleries, artistic photography, and bold typographic treatments. I created a list of some rough content ideas I had in mind, but I also decided to contact some of my friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community to help me brainstorm some ideas as well.



After sketching a variety of layouts, I created various grid systems in InDesign that I could use for my magazine. I did about five different variations for my Q&A spreads, and although not all were used, doing this exercise allowed me to experiment more, and to potentially use some of these layouts for other sections of my magazine. Throughout the whole process, the grid was tweaked many times with the critique of my colleagues as well as my professor, until I finally created a set of master grids that would be the driving force for all of my layouts. Using these grid systems, I began to test various type trials to see which typefaces would best suit my strategy.


valid. is a constant reminder that you should be proud and accepting of yourself as a human. Individuals part of this community are humans who are deserving of just as much love, happiness, and acceptance as anyone else, regardless of how others perceive them.


valid issue one

The first issue of valid. focuses on celebration, of not only the first publication of this magazine, but also of the great accomplishments made by individuals in this community. As a community that is constantly evolving, individuals who are part of this progression, deserve to be recognized and appreciated. This magazine is a celebration of you. It’s a celebration of your journey, a celebration of your progress, a celebration of your life, and a reminder that you are valid. These are some of the spreads that I am most proud of from the final magazine. Here is the full magazine if you are interested!


 © olivia montagnese