Whee, a balloon

Far Off Blog

October 2014

A Refreshing Autumn Breeze, or Who Left This Window Open!?

One night in August, with the four of us lounging in our sitting room and sharing a fresh pot of tea (difficult to do over Skype, but we make do), we got to talking about all things sharply dressed. With Annie, Ceris, and Eleanor fresh from editing the lovely Sartorial it was obvious that our own appearance was in need of some sprucing up. We’d spent months arguing about the necessity of cufflinks (essential) and which shade of purple was most pleasing to the eye (Old Mauve) only to look down and discover that Far Off Places was still wearing the drab browns and creams that were all the rage in 2012.


Far Off Places, from 2012-circa-1863.

Abashed, Beth and I politely excused ourselves from the evening’s conversation (erudite), drained our respective teas (Earl & Lady Grey), and retired to the internet to re-design everything visual about both the magazine and the website. We started by looking at the publications that inspire us, from other literary journals like McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern to traditional journalism and publishing like The New Yorker and Schott’s Original Miscellany to modern digital publications like The Magazine. Many distracted hours later, we realised what we shared with our role models: a deep, un-abiding love of text.

With that realisation in hand we sat down and re-designed faroffplaces.org to bring the text to the fore. We dropped our old, vaguely steampunk browns; Beth re-drew the balloon in a more modern, elegant style. We argued about serifs & small capitals, and bid a tearful farewell to one of our oldest friends. Remembering conversations past, we re-painted the footer in the most beautiful shade of purple we could find.

More changes are still to come, including a matching re-design of the magazine and the iOS app. We’re feeling rather pleased with ourselves (look at it! Isn’t it pretty?) and don’t see any reason to stop. Besides, that text just looks so nice now.

Happy reading!

Stop press! Event! Podcast! General joyousness!

Do you ever wonder what the Far Off Places team gets up to when we’re not crouched over our laptops, designing logos and deleting misplaced apostrophes? Have you found yourself waking up at night asking yourself what drives a group of seemingly normal people to found a literary magazine?

Torment yourself no longer, dear reader, an answer (or several) is at hand.

As you might have heard, we’ve been invited to showcase Far Off Places at the glorious Scottish Poetry Library at 6.30pm on Thursday 30 October. We’ll be talking about what it’s like to start up a magazine, the moments of joy and agony that mark the path of your (extra)ordinary editor or designer and where we’re planning to take the magazine from here. The evening will be extra special, as for the first time in over a year, three members of our editorial team of four will be in the same country. (See, Beth exists - we didn’t just make her up!) And if that’s not enough, there will be a donation bar - and hints of fancy dress, in honour of Hallow’s Eve’s Eve and the many eerie pieces that have made it into the magazine…

Do come along, it looks set to be a fantastic evening (with our favourite Jessica Johanneson Gaitan as chairperson, it can’t be anything but!) and we’d love to meet you all. Don’t forget to book in advance to guarantee your presence at the literary showcase of the season!

As a taster of the good things to come, editors Ceris and Annie recorded a podcast for the Scottish Poetry Library with Jessica, as well as with Far Off Places contributor Niall Foley. Tune in here to hear about our plans for tote bags and poetry by stealth. If you like what you hear, come along to the event for more of the same! If you don’t enjoy it - come along anyway. Live on the night things will doubtless be completely different…

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