Letters from us

I’m pretty bad at explaining myself. Once in an attempt to justify something I said, I told my roommates that I was “questioning the questioning the questioning.” While I don’t remember what I was talking about then, I find it an apt phrase to describe the university experience.

University takes everything you believe in and attempts to rip them apart. If you weren’t able to defend those beliefs before, you sure as hell had better learn how to quickly — unless you want to let them go or keep them buried, away from interrogating minds.

People believe in a lot of things, from the Maple Leafs (page 2) to themselves (page 50). In this magazine, we explore weightier beliefs too, from how political beliefs form (page 18) to how religious beliefs stand strong (page 44).

While The Home Issue was familiar — comfortable even — this issue delved into the uncertain and controversial. How can we analyze core beliefs critically, without undermining them or the people holding them?

It turns out, this was a difficult magazine to create. We pushed our boundaries both in the editorial and design, as did our contributors.  The results are challenging, sometimes uncomfortable. Rather than drive you away, I hope they lead you to deliberate what you believe and question why things are the way they are.

Our intent is not to shatter any beliefs. Instead, I invite you to refine and mature your beliefs so that the next time they are tested, you are prepared. Alternatively, you could have an existential crisis — just kidding.

— Rachel Chen, Magazine Editor

The Home Issue was the first magazine I was in charge of visualizing from start to finish. The Belief Issue is the last. This time, I wanted to take a bolder approach, to take more risks. Instead of the generally safe pastel colours and largely squarish photo-based layout of The Home Issue, this magazine features all sorts of wacky colours, shapes, and visuals.

Moving away from the old format allowed us to experiment more with layout. Outside the circle (page 40) features irregular organic shapes that add character to otherwise simple event photos. Christy Ahn’s wonderfully crafted polymer clay figures scattered throughout Read me (page 6) and on the cover add charm to the mostly digital magazine.

From Mirka Loiselle’s quirky alien illustrations (page 27 ) to Mahdi Chowdhury’s pill-and-jelly bean explosion (page 36), the visuals in this magazine are unique and interesting, all enclosed in Julien Balbontin’s “book-end” bee-leaf patterns in the front and back.

This magazine production has been another unintentionally week-long journey. This time it included waffles, a lot more work, and utter exhaustion, but it turned out to be just as rewarding. Thank you to everyone who worked to make The Belief Issue look as good as it does.

— Mubashir Baweja, Creative Director