Volumes x UNITOM: Manchester Fashion Institute Magazine Showcase

Volumes x UNITOM: Manchester Fashion Institute Magazine Showcase

Drag kings, football games, and stories from the Stagecoach bus…

Volumes window display
About the project: 
The brief for Volumes was to make a magazine from scratch (no pressure!) focused on a niche part of Manchester’s community. Manchester Met’s Manchester Fashion Institute’s first-year students set about working on group projects that had them graffiti hunting, cheering at their first ever football game at Old Trafford, interviewing residents in Manchester’s care homes, documenting the city’s rave revival, starting conversations with strippers, meeting the best new Drag King performers, finding stories in old friendships, on public transport, under club lights, behind stage curtains, and along student corridors.   
“Creating physical editions from scratch allowed us to get them out of the classroom and into the city to create original content, meet people and unearth interesting human stories.” - Alec Dudson (unit leader)
More and more Uni courses are developing modules encouraging students to engage with Manchester’s wider community and find ways to get their work out into real-world settings. We think this is a fantastic way to set students up for a rich and varied university experience, allowing them to make contacts beyond the university bubble, and get the most out of Manchester’s scene for the duration of their time here. It also gives us all chance to see what they’re working on! 
“All of the skills and considerations that come with conjuring up a “real thing” have (hopefully at least) introduced them to the importance of craft and context in storytelling. Working in groups is really challenging, but in a lot of cases, the students had fun and really pushed the boundaries of what they thought they were capable of.” - Alec

People reading magazine
The Event:
After all the content, photography, design, printing, and binding work was finished we hosted the students in UNITOM for a one-night-only exhibition to showcase and celebrate their magazine. We know that making a magazine is no small feat and we were so impressed by what was created in a relatively short period of time. As well as students, lecturers, and our lovely customers, we also welcomed some of the local people featured in the students’ mags who came along to see themselves celebrated in print. This was a great inter-community success! 
UNITOM is always excited to see what Manchester’s students are creating as they get to know their craft, there is an overwhelming amount of up-and-coming talent to celebrate with events like Volumes. 
“Getting together and celebrating their work at UNITOM was a lovely way to draw the project to a close and was the first time that they’d seen all the work together. I think they really impressed one another and it started a lot of conversations and should help to spark the sense of community that’s hard to conjure when there are 140 people in a lecture theatre. “ – Alec

Winners being announced
The UNITOM team selected two outstanding magazines based on their execution, content, and viability in an industry setting. The two winners were called Lost & Found and Out Of Play. 

Lost & Found magazine
Lost & Found team
Lost & Found:
Made by Isabelle Moore, Megan Parkins, Rebecca Prosser, and Keira Rawnsley. 
Lost & Found stood out from the start for the beautiful job they did on the binding. There were several special touches inside the hardcover magazine, from a fold-out concertina documenting a train journey in photographs to a blank postcard inviting readers to reflect on summer memories. As well as pleasingly designed pages, it included thoughtful articles on the importance of platonic bonds, advice from elderly residents in Chester Lodge Care Home, a look inside Manchester’s student halls, and much more. 
“For us creating Lost & Found has been such a fulfilling experience. Our decision to construct the magazine by hand in the bookbinding workshop at university was a risk, as it was definitely more time-consuming than other options. However, watching the publication take form and being able to hold the final product in our hands was so rewarding. Having our magazine displayed and celebrated in UNITOM, a place that we had gained so much inspiration from for this project, was also a really gratifying experience and felt like a very full circle moment for us as a group.” 

Out Of Play
Out Of Play
Out Of Play:
Made by Molly Grainger, Fern Haigh, Elinor Harries, and Phoebe Hawkins.
Out of Play is a simple zine-style publication, staple bound and small format. We chose this publication because it showed how eye-catching and cool a lower-budget mag can be when executed well. We felt it would look right at home amongst other zines on our shelves with its football-ticket cover design, on-the-ground photography, and narrative-led content following a self-confessed football novice to their first ever live game at Old Trafford and into the world of football-mad Manchester. 
“Crowds of people, unified by red scarves and hats gathered on the tram platform at St Peter’s Square, some singing United chants, others having pre-game tins as they waited patiently for a tram that they could fit onto. […] there was a sense of collectiveness, that even I could feel myself warming to.” 

Volumes was UNITOM's busiest event to date! As always, thanks to everyone who came along, to the students (what a talented bunch!), and to the team at Manchester Fashion Institute for letting us be a part of exciting projects like this. We can’t wait to see what this cohort does next.
Thanks to Ema Crompton for the fantastic photos and to everyone getting shots with the disposables!

Fruity mag
June with Silver Linings


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