Skip to main content

New concept for film & culture magazine

Neutral Magazine

Neutral Magazine is produced annually by the final year media students at York St John’s University. It gives undergraduates the opportunity to showcase their writing skills and voice opinions on all things arts and culture.

Each issue has a unique style and tone, which the students define with the support of industry professionals.

Having reviewed its previous editions, the department’s staff and students felt the magazine’s design wasn’t current and didn’t reflect where it needed to be as a brand. 

We were briefed to work with them to visually overhaul the magazine. What fun.

Read more

Our Approach

Putting student voices to the forefront was key to the success of this project. Neutral is their magazine and needed to feel representative of their thinking and culture. 

With this aim firmly in mind, we held a creative workshop for staff and students to brainstorm where the magazine is – and where it needs to be. We looked at themes and thoughts, and how they would like to see the magazine evolve.

The result was a modern ‘retro’ design with a clean, minimal layout, inspired by a nostalgia for 80s films, video games, cinema posters and Stranger Things.

Using a dark colour palette with a saturated, almost neon red, bold typography and a focus on imagery, we created an impactful structure with a stylish nod to 80s popular culture.

We then went on to document a master visual system to ensure visual continuity and consistency for future editions. Providing a strong foundation and a library of structural assets will allow each edition of Neutral to consistently build on the brand.

The Results

– High levels of student engagement
– Uptake in course interest from UK and overseas
– Increase in social media visibility
– Creation of a platform fit for industry, showcasing student talent and experience, leading to industry sector interest.


Brand Identity, Website Design & Development, Print Design


Education, Print & Editorial

‘Working with United by Design has been an absolute delight. They’re friendly, supportive and beyond knowledgeable. They helped us realise an idea and turn it into something new, refreshing and innovative. The magazine platform they designed has surpassed what we were hoping for.’

Martin Hall, Senior lecturer & Course leader, York At John University

Got a brief or just a question,
start a project and get in touch at