back

Tempos Fantásticos


About the project

Tempos Fantásticos is a satirical sci-fi and fantasy newspaper, with features about the alternative futures, presents and pasts.

It's possible to find news, ads, comic strips, illustrations, opinion pieces — like the one about tourism in imaginary places and obituaries of people from all time and space — and interviews with universal personalities — like the lovecraftian Cthulhu and the demonic Devil.

A legitimate newspaper, like many others, in which all is fiction and any resemblance to reality may or may not be a coincidence.

(from the official website)

What

Tempos Fantásticos is my main project. It's an excuse to mix fiction writing, layout design, web development and more skills into this singular piece of art. It's a newspaper with journalistic language — admittedly fake; a design project, from main graphic project to each particular issue; a website with an online store and backend tools to manage subscribers and buyers; and every other week a newsletter with updates and fresh (fake) news.

In its current form, Tempos Fantásticos has eight colored A3 pages (two folded A2 pages). All its texts and illustrations are voluntary collaborations, and all we charge is directed to the maintenance of the project — print, mail, servers. Digital copies are free forever after the next issue is released. It's sadly available only in Portuguese.

Raphael Andrade's illustration for TF's 28th edition

When

The project started in February 2016 and exists ever since. Unfortunatelly, it's only in portuguese. I'd more than love to translate this project to any language.

Tempos Fantásticos first issue

Tempos Fantásticos first issue

Where

The bulk of the work is made by myself, in downtown São Paulo, Brazil, but we have collaborators from all around the country, even one that used to live in the USA.

Who

Nowadays the project is maintained by a team of five singular individuals: myself, João P. Lima, Jana P. Bianchi, Raphael Andrade and Ludimila Honorato. Each of them has their share of skills and experiences — like Ludimila's (serious) work at Estadão newspaper and Raphael's (also serious) background in design and advertising.

Why

"Why not?" is a question frequently asked by our team. We have two dreams: one that's more plausible, which is bringing quality and fun short literature to readers around the country... and the other one a little more, let's say, fantastic. The project hopes to be recognized in the future as one of the main actors in Brazilian sci-fi revival, making a dent in history by changing how stories are presented. That sounds like a far away dream, but isn't every dream?


How we make it

Design

All the newspaper's layout is made usign Adobe InDesign since the first edition. If you are a news enthusiast, you will notice TF borrows a lot of Folha de S.Paulo's formats, as I worked there while designing the first edition. Another influence was New York Time's old editions.

The first phase

The first editions had black as it's only color and bulky text walls, alongside illustrations and infographics — as photographs were impossible.

tf cover 3 tf cover 6 tf cover 10

After almos a year of publishing, we decided to make a few graphical adjustments: no more small-caps (except for the logo), no more lines dividing stories, more textual elements.

After the first year, we ran this special, one-color issue, themed after the end of the world.

tf 12 1 tf 12 2

At the end of year two, we decided to make an almost-handmade edition. Made with scraps of texts, illustrations, handwritten and typed texts, we came up with the last edition of the first phase of Tempos Fantásticos. The design converses with the created narrative, as if the newsroom had been attacked by terrorists and the edition needed to be made by hand.

tf 24 1 tf 24 2

This time, we paused for almost 4 months, redesigning the publication from scratch.

The second phase

I wanted more pages. And colors. And bigger illustrations. More whitespace, more people, more sections, more comic strips, more everything. But I had a budget.

After talking to amazing graphic producer Priscila Tioma, we decided to give this redesign, filled with new stuff, a try. And the, after a lot of logo tests, print examples, fake-fake newspapers... we had the new Tempos Fantásticos.

tf 25 central

You can see the cover of the before monthly and now trimestral publication at the start of this text. Above, the centerfold of the first edition of the second phase, numbered 25th as we didn't want to loose all we had made until now.

I ended up getting everything I wanted. Before, an A3 paper, single-color, printed on both sides. Now, two A2 papers, one color (CMYK, but shades of one main color). From two pages to eight. From small space for texts and illustrations to more opinion columns and three comic strips.

tf 25 1 tf 25 2 tf 25 3

The third phase

Tempos Fantásticos ran until October 2019. Now, the project needs another pause, but not for design. Editorial and design choices were made and the project looks and feels how we'd like it to.

Money is the issue.

If you want to know more about TF, visit the (brazilian) website clicking here.

Coding

TF is not only a online publication. It's a website with dedicated front-end (like, well, almost all websites) and management section.

You can see it live clicking here

It's built using React, within a Node server hosted on Umbler. Building the website was straightforward, we needed a place that could meet three criteria, in which the user would be able to:

  • Subscribe to the newspaper
  • Buy the last edition
  • Know what the hell is Tempos Fantásticos

At the present time, the first criteria was met but it's disabled, as we are not accepting new subscribers.

The hardest part was building the online store. We used PagSeguro's API (as we don't have many options in Brazil that we could afford) and their documentation... let's say it's suboptimal.

Media and academy

Tempos Fantásticos has been the theme of an academic article: Other possible times: disputes about values and conventions of journalism in Tempos Fantásticos.

From it's abstract:

This article analyzes how Tempos Fantásticos, a satirical newspaper published in Brazil since 2016, summons matrices of the fantastic to dispute values and conventions of the journalistic canon. Taking as conceptual and methodological frameworks the worksof Raymond Williams and Jesús Martín-Barbero and their efforts to consider historicities in any analysis of culture, we show how the experimentation around "fictional journalism" of Tempos Fantásticosmeans to dispute the ethical imperative that legitimizes journalism as a social institution and one of its central values, currency. This movement evidences political and cultural disputes in the treatment of values and conventions of journalism, time and reality.

The newspaper also was part of Marcela Souza's research on brazilian periodic publications, available here, in portuguese.