A magazine for the world traveler


The world of travel magazines comprises many things, from luxury to exploration. From Conde Nast to National Geographic there’s something for most everyone. But what about for well-traveled travelers?


In ten weeks create a magazine brand. Bring the magazine concept to life through content, style, layout, typography, and imagery. Offer readers more in-depth exploration of the magazine through rich media content on tablet.


Brand Concept

Covering a single country/small region of the world at a time, this magazine will give readers an in-depth look into a country or culture. This is not a guide book, this is content worthy of a traveler’s time.  Each issue of the magazine will have features that speak to at least three of the following topics of conversation for the region: 
  • culture
  • history
  • traditions
  • geopolitical climate
  • environmental issues
  • religion
Monthly reoccurring subtopics will include a brief overview of regional current affairs and things to know, a quick reference page for language, a regional culinary recipe, a photo essay, and a short story from a travel jouranlist in the region.


For stronger brand development and identity it was crucial to analyze the market and understand the competition. Through interviewing world travelers and researching newsstands and bookstores, I found that what the market lacks is a light-weight companion to engaging travel. Travel magazines regularly set a precedent of making each edition a potpourri of articles from countless countries, whereas in-depth magazines tend to focus on particular aspects of a country, like how National Geographic will explore a region’s biodiversity but lacks a larger picture of the region. What could be of great value to a world traveler is a magazine that can be read cover to cover on their journey to a destination, giving them the ability to have relevant and engaging conversation with locals or ex-pats upon arrival.
User Profile: Gail
51 years old
Lives in Madison, WI

Former cartographer, creator of Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier Shop
Things She Reads:
Time, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic
Travel for chocolate, weekend bike trips, spending time with her son when he's home from college.
Gail is a busy small business owner. Her time is predominantly spent at her shop, making sure operations are working well. When Gail travels it’s primarily for business. She takes fair trade products seriously and meets with all her vendors on a regular basis to be sure that the processing is organic and that workers are treated well.
User Profile: Paul
35 years old
Lives in Washington, DC
Former Peace Corps volunteer, works on international trail mapping

Things He Reads:
The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic
Travel ‘off the beaten track’, photography, hiking, ultimate frisbee.
He has lived overseas for about half of his adult life, speaks 3 languages fluently, tries to keep a good work life balance, enjoys guitar lessons and IPA beer tastings.

Naming the Brand

It was important to find a name that connected with readers who are well-traveled, but also well-read. The name needed to match their identity as intellectual, informed, and interested in engagement. After a long hunt the word ‘versant’ hit the mark.

Content Curation

For this volume of Versant I chose to spotlight a country that I have a deep connection with, Georgia. I gathered articles of all topics on the country and set to work curating which ones would meet the brand's standards and hold the interest of Versant’s readers. Advertisements were also vetted to find ones that would best match reader interests and their purchase habits.

Art Direction

Versant needed to capture its audience through the use of imagery. It was essential that I include immersive, compelling, professional photography to fully capture the country and set the tone for the brand. For this I planned a fourteen day trip to Georgia with a professional photographer. We traveled from capital city to mountain top, from elaborate drinking celebrations to 10th century cave monasteries. I had the honor of coordinating our trip to fit each article of the magazine, art directing shoots and curating visual stories along the way.
My photographer, Corinne Thrash, and me scouting shots in Georgia

The Finished Print

Using open margins, clean structure, and full bleed images, Versant magazine educates and immerses readers in current affairs, culture, and history. The final design allows readers the opportunity to come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the countries they explore.

Brand Extentions

Versant readers are tech savvy and enjoy traveling light. For this reason a tablet edition of the magazine would be the ideal way for readers to get their content in a light and compact way. Since Versant is both engagement and a resource for travel needs, a digital edition could branch into offering several short series of cultural and language immersion tutorials to even better prepare its readers for each new trek. Since the magazine only covers a focussed slice of the world in each issue, readers would be offered the unique option for personalized ordering, combining past issues together to fit their specific travel needs. Planning a sojourn through Turkey, Armenia and Georgia in one trip? Readers can select issues of Versant past and present that work for their travel arrangements and the magazine can be delivered to the reader as a print bound or digital collection for their particular trip. If ordering digital versions, content will continue to be updated and amended to include relevant new facts and information, allowing a single issue of Versant to have standing sales power far beyond its initial month of issue.

My Roles:

market research
art direction


Corinne Thrash