Editorial Journal Design

International Relations Journal:
Volume 37 (2018),
San Francisco State University

SFSU International Relations Journal designed by Jacob McAdam

Project Brief

Design Challenge
How can the journal be designed with consistent typography, and be optimized for digital readers?

Project Description
Every year in the Spring the International Relations department at San Francisco State University publishes an online journal with the best papers selected from their graduate and undergraduate students. The International Relations Journal needed a new design to increase legibility, consistency, and digital accessibility.

Software & Resources Used

Adobe IllustratorAdobe Illustrator
Adobe PhotoshopAdobe Photoshop
Adobe InDesignAdobe InDesign

The Final Design

The final journal design had an intense red and white color scheme, yet allowed the reader to move through the text comfortably. Headers and bylines allow for a clean and quick navigation between pages.

An spread opener featuring one of the student essays.

Design Process

The design process involved sketching out a few layouts and laying out a single article in various comprehensives. My teammate focused on cover designs while I focused on typography, headers, footers, bylines, and body copy.

SFSU International Relations Journal perliminary sketches
Sketches helped explore various ways of heading and footnoting pages.
SFSU International Relations Journal proposed cover designs
SFSU International Relations Journal proposed cover designs
Proposed cover designs.

A copy of the entire journal design.


The final journal design needed to be delivered for digital-only formats. As a result the document’s typographic layout was set in a single column to enforce a contiguous reading experience, which means the user wouldn’t have to jump around pages as they read.

Design Team
Jacob McAdam, Graphic Designer
Dominic Decarlo, Graphic Designer
Joshua Singer, Art Director

This journal was designed in association with SFSU Design Working Group for the International Relations department at San Francisco State University.