Canadian Magazine Industry News
20 May 2011,     TORONTO
Toronto firm discusses Maxim Canada design
How do you make an international magazine uniquely Canadian?
That was the challenge faced by Toronto-based design firm K9 Design, which designed the new Maxim Canada (which hit shelves this week) from cover to cover. It was no easy task, said Jennifer Neal of K9. 

"We've been designing magazines for a very long time, so when a magazine like Maxim comes along it's a pretty exciting experience," she said. "We realized we had to art direct it and design it for a Canadian audience, which is a very different audience who consume it differently. Sometimes it's hard to put your finger on what that change is, it can be so subtle from a design perspective.
"Canadians have struggled for decades to define what makes us different. That same struggle continues when you have this kind of a change."
Sample spread from Maxim Canada
Sample spread from Maxim Canada

With a high Canadian content in the first edition, Canadian-focused story teasers are prominent on the cover. "I guess the biggest challenge was to produce a publication that nods in tone to the U.S. version, but brings that Canadian voice," she said. 
The backdrop to cover model April Rose is a 'cool' tone (Neal pointed out it's silver and not blue), but she said that likely wasn't done on purpose to reflect the 'north'. 
K9 enlisted the help of photographer Andy Ferreira who has worked with K9 in the past, said Neal. "He did the bulk of the shoots in the book, he's great to work with, he was a wonderful addition to the team," she said.
Neal said K9 has an existing relationship with the publisher (GDC Media), noting K9 is currently in talks to design another edition. "Right now I'm not sure what that process looks like," she said. "To be involved in the launch is a great first step."
The feedback from the industry about the inaugural Maxim Canada design has been "great, which is shocking in our industry", Neal said with a laugh. "It's been overwhelmingly supportive."
K9 is a small firm of five people, in operation since 1998.
— Jeff Hayward
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