UNITED STATES HARDCORE
U.S.H.C. is where hardcore punk fans of all ages converge as we’re moshing to the finish line. The magazine and website feature articles based on the hardcore punk genre and the American culture surrounding its music.
To better understand my audience and to help me design based on their interests, I created individual user profiles that embody some of the age groups within the hardcore punk scene. The details about them are fictitious, but the personas themselves are a generalization of the fans.
Name: James Wilson
Favorite Bands: Blistered, Turnstile, Expire, Harm’s Way, Suburban Scum, Incendiary and Kublai Khan
Summary: James is a hardcore kid. He prefers to listen to most of the newer hardcore bands because they tend to be more clean and aggressive, but he’s not against the oldies. Like most hardcore kids, James has many diverse interests outside of his favorite genre of music. He draws in his spare time, plays basketball with his old high school buddies and works as assistant manager at his local Value Village.
Name: Stephanie Castro
Favorite Bands: Angel Du$t, Gorilla Biscuits, Minor Threat, Bane, Converge and Madball.
Summary: Take one look at Stephanie and you’ll know where she spends her weekends: in the pit. Her favorite type of bands are the ones who emerged in the late 80s to early 90s, but the spectrum is flexible. Aside from attending the shows of her favorite hardcore bands, she works for Dominos delivering pizza, spends time doing school work and is trying to start her very own hardcore band.
Name: Rick Andrwes
Favorite Bands: The Middle Class, Black Flag, TSOL, The Adolescents, Suicidal Tendencies and Dead Kennedys.
Summary: Rick’s been a fan of hardcore music ever since he can remember. As a kid, he attended as many shows as he possibly could. His favorite bands are still the oldies, but he’s starting to appreciate what modern hardcore punk bands have to offer. He works full time as an auto mechanic and spends most of his weekends either working on his book or thrift shopping to add to his enormous collection of old records.
After gathering all my content, I read through every article in order to decide on the best layout for each. From the context of the articles, I created a flatplan grid system to be used as the bare bones. This is what the entire magazine is based on.
My main focus was on bridging the gap between veteran hardcore punk fans who were there from the beginning and younger fans who have only just begun. I wanted to create something that both groups could enjoy and appreciate.
To avoid the splashy styles found in punk zines of the 70s and 80s, I've designed with a modern approach in a way that can appeal to every fan within the genre. It doesn't contain extensive articles. Instead, it features short ones relating to multiple points of interest amongst readers.
This modern approach means utilizing a predictable grid system, large high-intensity images and clean, san-serif typefaces for the most part. Also, when half of the primary audience is composed of millennials and other computer-centric individuals, designing for the web is a must.
An example of a featured page on U.S.H.C.'s website is the Interviews page. This shows some of the latest interviews with band members and others in the genre of hardcore punk. The only things more interesting than the music itself are the people that play it and the stories they tell.
Although U.S.H.C. still screams that classic hardcore punk feel, it now makes the artists and their music more accessible through modern forms of media consumption. This is allowing them to finally get the recognition they deserve. So feel free to jump in, because we're moshing to the finish line.