Liz Volpi

All The Stuff

Offbeat Magazine.


During the summer of 2015, I completed my first design internship at New Orleans's free counter-cultural publication company, Offbeat Magazine. There I created a variety of graphics to accompany articles and advertisements—both print and digital—with my most notable contribution being the content layout and cover illustration for their annual publication, Frosh.

FROSH Cover illustration

Published yearly, Frosh is the new student's roadmap to New Orleans, listing ample information from best places to hear live jazz to where to commonly heard "New Orleans-isms" defined. Thus, I decided a loosely-defined map of the New Orleans which illustrates elements of our culture—rather than literal geography—would best communicate the contents within. As the publication primarily targets college students, I developed the map in a hand-drawn, "notebook doodle" style, which also aligns with Offbeat's quirky, counter-cultural identity.

Monthly Publication Graphics & Layout


Every month Offbeat half-reviews, half-reminisces over a selected album in "Rewind"—a piece dedicated to reviving classic albums through interviews with the artists. The graphic heading the section needed a refresh without losing its core element: a VCR rewind symbol. It needed to quickly communicate the purpose of the segment while fitting neatly beside the cover of the album being reviewed, within a 3/4 article space.

  Scanned images of the previous Rewind graphic (left) and the current graphic (right).

Scanned images of the previous Rewind graphic (left) and the current graphic (right).

I broke the word "rewind" into two sections interrupted by the VCR symbol to communicate a pause and look-back into now "vintage" music. The narrow, all caps, sans-serif font created a nice square shape, which immediately made me think of my collection of vinyl albums and their perfectly square covers. To add more definition to the graphic, I encased it in a square box and added color to the rewind symbol, which always complements the background color of the section and changes with every issue.

Essence Fest Schedule. 

The calendar needed to fit into half-page spaces so vertical ads could sit alongside them. To make the schedule easiest to follow, I separated items by date, then by stage and ordered everything within that chronologically. The Main Stage schedules and headliner photos always span the width of the column, schedules for other stages occupy half the width of the column, and photos of recognizable musicians performing that day fill the remaining spaces. I chose 5 pink and purple hues—corresponding with Essence's brand—to distinguish the 5 stages from one another. 


Table of Contents (TOC). 

I rearranged the layout of Offbeat's Table of Contents to better guide the reader's eye, listing stories chronologically by page number rather than by category (as it was previously). I reduced the point size so information occupies less space, making room for a headlining photo and corresponding details to fit at the top of the page. The hierarchy thus becomes clearer, giving more integrity to the cover story. "Blast from the Past" content is placed to the right over a black background, visually distinguishing it from the TOC.

  Scanned images of the previous Table of Contents (left) and the current layout (right).

Scanned images of the previous Table of Contents (left) and the current layout (right).

For more about this project, please follow the link below:

Offbeat Portfolio Item

Creative Director: Elsa Hahne / Skills at play: magazine layout, print design, typography, idea and concept creation, illustration, brand development, print design