Makeshift Magazine


Makeshift Magazine


Founded in 2011, Makeshift magazine was born out of a successful Kickstarter project that raised nearly $45,000. The support indicated a growing popular appetite for the journal’s unique stories of street-level ingenuity—hailing from the favelas of Rio to the alleys of Delhi. Since its founding, Makeshift has expanded its footprint from a quarterly print publication to a multimedia platform that includes an e-commerce website and an educational institution.

Acting as a strategic advisor and creative partner, Openbox works with Makeshift founders Steve Daniels and Myles Estey to translate vision into action. Beginning with a repositioning of the magazine, Openbox helped to express the shift in focus to encompass not just creative inspiration from the economic fringe, but to also serve as a “field guide to hidden creativity.” Working with Makeshift’s award-winning editorial team, Openbox refreshed the brand’s design language to further differentiate the journal’s value proposition and to appeal to individuals and organizations alike.

As a field guide, the redesigned magazine has taken on a smaller, more portable format that invites use as an accompaniment to travel and research. The newly redesigned website, spearheaded by Openbox’s design team, shares a similar air of exploration, enabling visitors to navigate and discover subject matter by theme.

As part of Openbox’s partnership with Makeshift, a team of Openbox designers co-curated the Crowds Issue of the magazine, which included a feature story by the team on contagious social logic and gender violence in Haiti. Openbox founder, Marquise Stillwell, also provided an op-ed piece on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Openbox’s partnership with Makeshift continues to create a thriving platform for revealing and sharing hidden creativity from around the world. Since the redesign, Makeshift quadrupled its distribution in less than six months to include Barnes & Noble and major distributors around the world.

business design, brand, communication design