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A look back at my time at Supernova

Written by Alexander

Jun 18, 2020

It’s my last day at Supernova. 🙁


I have spent 5 excellent years at this awesome magazine with a brilliantly talented team. Now I’m passing the baton on and pursuing a new adventure! But, before I go I want to take a moment of self-reflection and look back at some of my personal highlights at the mag for curious kids.

Volume 4.2

The “horses” issue was the first time I got involved with Supernova. My girlfriend (now wife), was working at BK Publishing as an intern and I helped her with some ideas for the big Tutankhamun feature article. My ideas were rubbish and I was clueless when it came to graphic design.

Volume 4.3

The first feature article that was assigned to me was Fynbos and Fire from the ‘butterfly’ issue. I spent days figuring out how to do a magazine layout and tired to get way too fancy with the cover page of the article, but I was quite chuffed to have something of my own in print.

Volume 4.5

Light & Colour was the first article the team at Supernova let me write and design. It was incredibly tough work, but I gained a lot of respect for writers after working on this one.

Volume 5.1

The Bare Bones article was the first time I collaborated with Benoit on a feature article. The result was great! He did the illustrations and I did the layout and the whole article just came together perfectly.

Volume 5.2

The Hacking article was the first time I collaborated on a feature article with my wife.

Volume 5.4

I challenged myself to create a map of South Africa. It took me roughly 60 hours to make this one. It was intense work, but I learnt a tonne about illustration.

Volume 5.5

Benoit was at the Frankfurt Book Fair during the production of this issue so it was the first time I had to handle the whole magazine. I never put a title on the front cover. I always wondered if nobody noticed the mistake or if they were just too polite to say anything.

Volume 6.1

We completely rebuilt the magazine from the ground up for this new volume. It was an insane amount of work, but to see the updated design come to life was brilliant. It was the beginning of my new role as production manager.

Volume 6.2

I loved working on the Where Does our Food Come From article. I interviewed experts and went out of the office to take photographs first hand. It was the kind of expansive topic that I enjoyed working on the most.

Volume 7.2

I hadn’t worked on my own feature article for a long time. But with The Origin of Blue I really got stuck in again. My favourite part was the activity.

Volume 7.3

The Mars article was the first time I collaborated on a feature article with Saskia. It was a little before she would become editor of the magazine and it was such a pleasure working on an article that was meticulously planned out.

Volume 7.4

The Emoji article was just plain fun through and through. It was also the first time I learnt about a ‘squricle’ which has now become something of a defining shape for Supernova.

Volume 7.6

In the Energy article I tried my hand at isometric illustrations. The result was so-so, but it’s a style of illustrating I have become very fond of.

Volume 8.1

A new volume and a new design style again. From here on out I was hoping to keep things plain and simple. The bigger the photograph the better!

Volume 8.4

I started spending more time sourcing photographs that tell great stories instead of spending hours on tiny layout details.

Volume 8.5

I enjoyed the blue article so much that I tried the same layout with the colour yellow. It was also an experiment to see if serial articles could work.

Volume 9.1

The Photo Feed was a new section where we would explore a theme with a handful of great photos. Little did I know that in the coming weeks Covid-19 would delay our next issue and this section would be one of the last layouts I would work.

I am so grateful for the time I had at Supernova and I am super excited for what’s to come next! Someone else will be handling the magazine’s day to day, but I’ll jump in with an overly complicated idea for an article from time to time for sure!

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