Caroline Royce is a Minneapolis-based creative who describes her work as being at “the intersection of structure, harmony, color and whimsy.” Never satisfied with the bare minimum, she relishes her latest foray into magazine publication, seeing it as an ideal way to hone familiar skills in layout, editorial and illustration with new ones in business and marketing.
A Love Letter To The Outdoors
Ironically, the spark for what Caroline has described as her “love letter to the place I’m from” was ignited by a chance encounter on Valentine’s Day 2018. “I was at REI,” Caroline recalled, “picking up last-minute gifts and I saw some travel adventure magazines at the checkout that caught my eye. I paged through a couple and thought, “I could do this…” Since I was in between design jobs I went home and started tooling around with InDesign. I mocked up some magazine covers. Before I knew it, I had decided that I was going to do this, for real.”
Stepping Outside Her Comfort Zone
“Start a magazine? How hard could it be? The prospect didn’t even seem daunting at first,” Caroline recalled. Admittedly, there was quite a learning curve. “While I find the design and layout portion of it really fun, I’ve never run a business. There are so many moving parts to something like this,“ she said. But, the real challenge, according to Caroline, “is overcoming my own self-doubt.” On one hand, “I’m feeling like I might actually be well suited for this kind of undertaking.“ she said. “I was raised by two journalists and I’ve worked at a newspaper. I have a feel for the editorial process and design has always been a passion of mine. But, putting something out into the world that is so personal, that’s a tough thing to do. What if people don’t like it?” she said.
An Adventure Is Born
“It’s like the stars aligned,“ Caroline said. “I found good articles on how to publish a magazine, I had a name, Northerly, and an angle I liked – creating a print journal of life in the North that celebrated the seasons through gatherings, food and outdoor experiences and I knew people who could help. I knew lots of writers who I could go to for submissions and story suggestions. And I knew when it came to images; Instagram was a hotbed for talented photographers trying to get themselves out there. The more I thought about it, creating a magazine didn’t seem as crazy as it sounded.”
Relying On Natural Instincts
So, Caroline put the word out. She created a website through Squarespace to market the new pub, set up an email address for the magazine and even converted her own outdoor photography Instagram account to a visual platform for Northerly.
And then, she got busy designing. “I knew I didn’t want a glossy magazine,” she said. “It was important to me that it felt more like a ‘journal’ so, I choose an uncoated stock and opted for a perfect binding.” To fill it, she searched Instagram for new photo sources “that,“ as she put, “made me feel something” and unearthed pieces for her premiere issue like “A Quiet Place,” a visual essay recalling a weekend retreat spent reveling in the seasonal slowness of early autumn up north. “Once I put it in,” Caroline said, “I realized it could be the thesis for the whole issue.”
A Wild Experience
“I’d spent a lot of time on it so, when I held it in my hands, it was kind of surreal. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to actually get to that point.” But, now that it has, Caroline couldn’t be more pleased. “I’m really stoked,” she said. “The feedback has been really, really positive. People are actually submitting pitches, which is *wild*. It’s all I ever could have hoped for.”