I’m on holiday for ten days tomorrow and my brain has given up work already, so instead of some clever-yet-groanworthy dad-pun of a title, you can have a Monty Python quote, as I couldn’t think of anything else. This post was nearly entitled “Romans they go to the house”, but I feared it was too tenuous and only actually funny in my own head, being a grammar nerd who’s attempting to learn Yr Iaith Cymraeg.

Anyhoo, what happened was last summer the National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon contacted me about a newly-conceived project involving a magazine by young people for young people that would help illustrate parts of Roman history relevant to the lives of teenagers. “We want it to look a bit like Kerrang!,” they said. “No problem,” I said.

The main differences between Kerrang! and this little publication are that a) FYI only has six pages per language (it’s a bilingual flip-and-turn type thing) and b) Kerrang! has an awful lot more information on each page. Luckily we managed to source some interesting photos, and with a little photoshop magic to increase the grunginess I think FYI captures some of the action.

It took a little while for the students to arrange the subjects and copy they wanted including, so the project developed slowly over the months, and finally went to press in March. Many of the images were supplied by the Museum, some I found free on websites like Stock Exchange and some I provided or illustrated myself. Inky and charcoaly lines, lots of textures and halftone patterns and a limited colour palette help roughen the look.

For extra interest, the little mag is 90% of the size of A4 (it’s a good thing to note how much more attractive non-standard-sized publications are to readers) and is beautifully finished on silk stock, thanks to sourcing print via my brilliant independent print sales expert. The Museum emailed me to say that they are really happy with the finished product. Phew!

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