Swell Life Magazine

Brand Identity | Visual Design | Product Development

Project type: Client

Role: Creative Director

Software: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop

The client approached me about creating a magazine that put a spotlight on the Cocoa Beach surf scene, local artists, and raised environmental awareness. The idea had great potential so we set out on a journey to create a brand with a fresh look that appealed to a wide range of readers. We released our first printed issue in the fall of 2016 and continued for four additional issues thereafter. Swell Life Magazine became a sensation within our local community with a circulation of over 10,000 copies each quarter.


After speaking with the client I researched some of the most popular surf magazines and brands to brainstorm ideas for the layout of Swell Life. I looked to world renoun designer and surfer David Carson and brands like Volcom for inspiration—their use of typography, color, shape, and texture was the style I wanted to emulate, but with my own interpretation. I decided to put strong emphasis on typograpic treatment to give each story/article a unique look and feel and incorporate a consistent visual language for each issue of the magazine.


  1. Work with client to plan a design strategy for the magazine.
  2. Conduct research, gather design assets, and begin brainstorming.
  3. Create thumbnail sketches and rough drafts for initial presentation.
  4. Work in Illustrator, Photoshop, and Indesign and create digital design assets.
  5. Team up with photographers to gather photography

Swell Life Magazine Mood Board

Design inspiration for Swell Life magazine

First Issue Layout Design

Swell Life layout design showcase for issue 1 Swell Life layout design showcase for issue 2 Swell Life layout design showcase for issue 3 Swell Life layout design showcase for issue 4 Swell Life layout design showcase for issue 5