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So Young Magazine Printing: Celebrating Issue 50 with Ex Why Zed

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245x172mm Zines
4pp Cover onto 200gsm Uncoated
56pp Text onto 120gsm Uncoated
Full colour throughout
Trimmed, collated and wire stitched.

Celebrating a significant milestone, So Young Magazine proudly released its 50th issue, featuring the globally acclaimed band Fontaines D.C. on the cover. Our team at Ex Why Zed is delighted to have partnered with So Young Magazine in printing this landmark edition. This case study delves into the design and production process, highlighting the seamless collaboration that brought this vibrant publication to life. 

Explore more about So Young Magazine and our collaboration.

“Thanks for all your help and guidance along the way, have loved working with you and I love how the magazine looks and feels. Hopefully, we’ll do another 50 Issues…”

Explore the thematic significance, design choices, and the exceptional print quality that make this issue a standout. Additionally, gain insights from our email interaction, showcasing the dedication and expertise that ensured the timely delivery of this special issue.

Discover our zine printing services

Thematic Significance

So Young Magazine’s fiftieth issue is a testament to the enduring appeal and vibrant culture of independent magazine printing. Featuring a cover story with Fontaines D.C., this issue celebrates the band’s journey and upcoming album ‘Romance.’ The magazine’s themes of music, culture, and artistic expression resonate through its pages, showcasing a diverse array of artists and bands who are pushing the boundaries of their genres.

Styling Aesthetics

The visual identity of So Young Magazine Issue 50 is striking, with a bold, colourful cover that immediately captures attention. The choice of a neon green background with hot pink lettering for the title creates a modern and edgy look. The cover image, featuring Fontaines D.C., is dynamic and vibrant, reflecting the energy of the band and the magazine’s content.

Design Choices

The design of the magazine maintains a consistent yet eclectic style, with a mix of photographic and illustrated elements. The use of full-page artwork and photography adds visual interest, while the text is laid out in a clean and readable manner. The decision to print on uncoated paper enhances the tactile experience of reading the magazine, giving it a premium feel.

Colour Palette

The colour palette is diverse, ranging from bright neon hues on the cover to more muted tones within the pages. This contrast creates a visually engaging experience, guiding the reader through the different sections and features of the magazine. The use of bold colours helps to highlight key articles and interviews, making them stand out.

Typographic Usage

Typography plays a crucial role in the magazine’s design. The choice of fonts is contemporary and varied, with a mix of serif and sans-serif typefaces that add to the magazine’s dynamic look. Headings are bold and eye-catching, while body text is clear and easy to read. The typographic hierarchy is well-defined, aiding in the overall readability and flow of the content.

Page Layout

The page layout is thoughtfully designed to balance text and visuals. Each spread offers a unique composition, with ample white space that prevents the pages from feeling cluttered. The integration of interviews, articles, and artwork is seamless, providing a cohesive reading experience. The use of grids and alignment ensures that each element is placed with precision.

Binding Style

The magazine is bound using wire stitching, which is both practical and durable for a publication of this size. This binding style allows the magazine to lay flat when open, making it easy to read and handle. The choice of a 245x172mm format is compact yet spacious enough to showcase the content effectively.

Storytelling Elements

So Young Magazine excels in its storytelling, combining written content with visual storytelling elements. Each feature is crafted with attention to detail, providing in-depth insights into the artists and bands featured. The interviews are engaging and informative, offering a glimpse into the creative processes and inspirations behind the music.

Actionable Insights for Future Designers

  • Bold Colour Choices: Use bright, contrasting colours to create visual impact.
  • Varied Typography: Mix different typefaces to add interest and maintain readability.
  • Thoughtful Page Layout: Balance text and visuals with ample white space.
  • Tactile Print Experience: Choose uncoated paper for a premium feel.
  • Durable Binding: Use wire stitching for a practical and durable binding option.
  • Engaging Storytelling: Combine written and visual elements to enhance storytelling.


The So Young 50 Print Journey

  • Ex Why Zed provided timely and flexible support, discussing alternative options.
  • The final spec for Issue 50 was agreed upon, and Ex Why Zed offered additional free copies to celebrate the milestone.
  • Positive feedback and appreciation were exchanged, highlighting a strong working relationship.

Client’s Aims and Aspirations

Josh Whettingsteel aimed to produce a visually compelling 50th issue of So Young Magazine without compromising quality, despite tight deadlines. The focus was on timely delivery to meet the launch event’s schedule. Josh’s priorities included maintaining the magazine’s high standards and ensuring that it stood out, particularly with Fontaines D.C. on the cover.

Questions, Pain Points, and Stumbling Blocks

  • Deadline Concerns: Josh’s main concern was the tight timeline for the magazine’s production and delivery to coincide with a launch event.
  • Design Elements: Initially considering foiling, Josh had to pivot due to time constraints, requiring flexible and quick decision-making.

How Ex Why Zed Helped

  • Timely Responses: Mike from Ex Why Zed responded quickly to Josh’s emails, offering solutions and flexibility regarding the foiling decision.
  • Cost Transparency: Provided a detailed cost breakdown promptly to help Josh make an informed decision.
  • Extra Copies: As a gesture of goodwill, Ex Why Zed offered 50 extra copies for free to celebrate the 50th issue milestone.
  • Quality Assurance: Ensured that the magazine would meet the high standards expected by So Young Magazine, providing a proof for final approval.
  • Delivery Coordination: Worked closely with Josh to ensure the magazines would be delivered on time for the launch event.

Ex Why Zed’s Expertise

  • Expertise: Ex Why Zed demonstrated their expertise in print production, advising on design and providing high-quality printing services.
  • Authoritativeness: The strong working relationship and repeated collaboration with So Young Magazine showcased Ex Why Zed’s authority in the field.
  • Trustworthiness: Ex Why Zed’s transparent communication, timely delivery, and gestures of goodwill (e.g., extra copies) reinforced their trustworthiness.
  • Experience: The positive feedback and appreciation from Josh highlighted Ex Why Zed’s extensive experience and reliability.

Positive Testimonial from the Client

“Thanks for all your help and guidance along the way, have loved working with you and I love how the magazine looks and feels. Hopefully, we’ll do another 50 Issues…”

Synopsis of the Email Interaction

Project Overview

So Young Magazine embarked on producing its landmark 50th issue, aiming for a high-quality, timely release. Despite the initial consideration of using foiling for the cover, tight deadlines necessitated a swift change of plans. Josh sought the expertise of Ex Why Zed to ensure the magazine would be ready for a scheduled launch event.

Collaboration and Support

Ex Why Zed, represented by Mike, provided exceptional support throughout the process. They offered flexibility in design decisions, promptly supplied cost details, and ensured the final product met the magazine’s high standards. Additionally, Ex Why Zed celebrated So Young’s milestone by providing 50 extra copies for free.

Outcome and Client Satisfaction

The collaborative effort resulted in a successful production of So Young’s 50th issue, delivered on time for the launch event. The strong working relationship and mutual appreciation between So Young Magazine and Ex Why Zed were evident, with both parties expressing satisfaction and looking forward to future collaborations.


The 50th issue of So Young Magazine is a testament to the power of collaboration and expert craftsmanship. From the bold design choices and impeccable print quality to the detailed planning and execution, this edition stands out as a remarkable achievement. Our close collaboration with So Young Magazine ensured that every detail was meticulously handled, from initial discussions to final delivery. This project highlights Ex Why Zed’s commitment to excellence in magazine printing, reaffirming our position as the preferred printing partner for creative and innovative publications.

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