National Geographic Goes Borderless For Migration Issue

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National Geographic recently released their latest deep-dive magazine in August on the global migration crisis, featuring stories about the plight of refugees around the world and shining a light on current global migration patterns.Though mainstream media in the US focuses primarily on domestic migration at our borders, the movement is indicative of a larger global migration trend. The Migration Issue takes an in-depth look at the history of human migration and shines light on current migration patterns – from those fleeing violence to those escaping poverty and moving toward prosperity in new locations.

TURKEY 2014 Stranded but sheltered Rain clouds cast a shadow over Nizip 1, a camp where more than 30,000 Syrian refugees make do in tents provided by a Turkish governmental aid agency. Each unit has a small kitchen, bedding, and a TV. People share toilets and showers. (Photograph by John Stanmeyer / National Geographic)
Turkey 2014. 
(Photograph by John Stanmeyer / National Geographic)

National Geographic is known for pushing boundaries in their reporting, and as a continuation of the magazine’s redesign and rebranding, Creative Director Emmet Smith incorporated formatting without borders as commentary on the current state of migration around the world. This includes type and imagery bleeding off the pages.

 

At an entrance to Madrid’s historic Plaza Mayor, Senegalese migrants take a break from their labors for an autumn celebration of drumming, singing, and prayerful thanks. In urban Spain, many Africans have been unable to obtain formal work permits. A popular alternative: peddling merchandise on blankets that can be whisked away when police show up. The salesmen are called manteros, blanket men. (Photograph by Aitor Lara / National Geographic)
At an entrance to Madrid’s historic Plaza Mayor, Senegalese migrants take a break from their labors.
(Photograph by Aitor Lara / National Geographic)

Smith says, “We are living in a time where borders fail us. We wanted to reflect that notion in the headlining of our special issue on human migration, having the type move through the pages, rather than obeying traditional rules as to where it can—and can’t—be. It is a signal to our readers that something is changing here.”  One thing that hasn’t changed though is that National Geographic’s familiar yellow border can still be seen on the cover of the edition.

 

A woman harvests wheat by hand near Konya, Turkey. Farmers from Anatolia brought agriculture to Europe starting nearly 9,000 years ago. Within a few millennia, farmers and herders dominated most of the continent. (Photograph by Rémi Bénali / National Geographic)
A woman harvests wheat by hand near Konya, Turkey. 
(Photograph by Rémi Bénali / National Geographic)