of editorial design
3 Scott King talks to us about Trap magazine
7 Andrew Diprose 9 Itâ€™s Nice That
talks to us about Boneshaker magazine
15 Michael Bojkowski 17 Fire & Knives
talks to us about Computer Arts
21 Staffan Bengtsson 23 Jake Tilson
Scott King Scott King trained as a graphic designer, he has worked largely in the editorial industry as art director of i-D and creative director of Sleazenation magazines. We were really excited to get a lovely email from him talking about the future for print and digital publications. Initially at college Scott started making his own magazine, not particularly because of any great attraction to becoming an editorial designer, rather to enable him to manage his own content and fulfil his DIY work ethic. “I suppose eventually print will just seem archaic, old hat and pointless, but people still paint on canvas with oil paints, bands still play guitar and drums, so who knows...it will always exist, at least for the foreseeable future.”
A big topic of discussion in the design industry is what the future holds for magazines and printed publications. Maybe the correct answer is that the future for editorial design is digital, but people still love traditional magazines.
are buying them, and advertisers keep advertising in them, the traditional printed magazine continues. Scott spoke of the progression to digital publications in relation to how the CD replaced the LP and iTunes etc are replacing the CD. That it just seems inevitable that digital publications will replace print. However this doesn’t mean everything has to be slick, corporate or moronic. As young designers, we are bound to be excited about digital, but as good designers we must always find the right way to do something. If this is through digital publications or producing printed pieces we must be confident in both areas to best approach the content. Advice from Scott King; as students, we should not stress about technical skills as they are not everything. But nowadays it helps to have good ideas and good taste that can be backed up with a confident technical ability. As graduates be very willing and open to working long hours or weekends, success requires hard work and dedication.
Scott referred to an interview he had recently had with the fashion photographer David Sims, who had just finished a project that used and abused digital photography and manipulation. Scott had suggested that surely the logical distribution for this work would be online. David’s response was ‘No, I love magazines.” As long as people are dedicated to making magazines, people 5
INFO Andy Hayes, Creative Director at Trap Magazine www.trapmagazine.co.uk facebook.com/trapmagazine twitter.com/trapmagazine
Andy Hayes is the senior and sole designer of the bass music publication, Trap Magazine - A free national bi-monthly mag, forged from a small Bristol-based team and their collective passion. Talking to Andy it was evident he, like most designers, has a strong allegiance to print and the craftsmanship that goes hand in hand with it – As shown in Trap’s most recent re-design; which sees it resurrected on untreated stock with perfect binding. This attention to detail was somewhat ironically born from the magazine’s budget: “the whole aesthetic has to be right for people to want to pick it up and collect it.”
needed to design,” - it was that simple. Trap is still in its early stages, coming in at just over a year old, and inevitably, talk turned to the future of the magazine, and the future of the printed publication itself. As with many magazines, Trap upload their content to the free e-publishing site, Issuu. Unlike other magazines, Trap offer the content up front, even before the magazine has been distributed to give them an edge. With so many music blogs around, the tide can turn at an alarming rate and it’s the least a bi-monthly mag can do to keep up. “That’s why it’s free we can’t expect people to want to pay for your opinions in this day and age.”
Though in the Print vs Digital debate Andy fights firmly in the corner for print, his work at Trap came about through his first love, Music. “Having a background specifically in music design, I was drawn to editorial design firstly as the opportunity to keep my design work in the physical form.”
Keen to never stray totally into the digital realm, Trap is working on many ways to stay current, and supplement the magazine. The Trap Magazine website will launch in full soon, and we’re to expect a blog with podcasts, mixes, downloads and exclusives; and although the Trap app may be distant, we’re assured that Trap will soon be compatible with smart phones and tablets.
A theme with both Andy and Trap seems to be necessity. All they do is born from a need for something, though in an unstable and over-crowded market it is hard to see the necessity in a free magazine based on a fast-paced and at times fickle corner of the industry. Though he and editor Jon fought for their place. “Jon needed to write and I
Chatting to Andy, the one thing we really understood from him was his passion; his passion for music, his passion for design; and his passion for the magazine. It’s clear he’s viewed as a vital founding member and no mere mac-monkey, and it’s great to see (of all things) a free magazine embrace the importance of a good aesthetic.
Illustration by Benedict Blyth, benedictblyth.tumblr.com 8
Andrew Diprose We had a phone call with Andrew Diprose, creative director at Wired UK magazine and The Ride Journal. The ice was broken with chatter about Bristol, bikes and studying Graphic Design. Andrew studied Graphic Design at Southampton Institute, in 1991. He had a passion for print at a young age, which led to a natural progression into editorial design for magazines. He started working in magazines in 1994, and has worked on many publications including Smash Hits, Elle, Esquire, FHM Collective and GQ. Andrew is passionate about editorial design, which is apparent in his own magazine The Ride Journal. The Ride Journal is a publication about bikes and the cycling lifestyle. Which Andrew and his brother (Philip Diprose) started as a personal project. It stemmed from a wet weekend biking in Wales with a bunch of friends, discussing the making of a zine about all kinds of riding. It is now a great success, showcasing his passion for design, alongside his love of bikes. Andrew described Wired UK alongside The Ride Journal as comparing a Bagel and a Hovis loaf. Wired is the bagel, more modern and cutting edge. Whereas The Ride Journal, a Hovis loaf is more cosy and familiar, something to sit down with your cuppa and read. Andrew described that he has different ideas and content that he wants to design for, it’s just finding the
right vehicle, or in Ride’s case, building your own. At Wired UK Andrew is art director for two teams, one working on the print publication and the other on the iPad application. The teams work in the same office and in conjunction with each other, Andrew oversees all that goes on. I love, love, love print and I love what the iPad can do.They are just very different beasts!
Working in both print and digital mediums is exciting as there is great passion for print but he also has a clear love for what the iPad can do. The printed publication of Wired tries to make the most of the printed process. Special inks and papers are used to celebrate something tangible to make the magazine a total visual feast. The iPad is exciting, it makes it possible to show movies, listen to music of artists being featured or hear people talking about their ideas, all of which are not possible in print. The iPad is full of advantages for interacting with the readers to make the best of the content. Having a PDF version of a printed publication is nothing in comparison to the tangible printed publication. However if you think cleverly about an iPad application you can play to the strengths of that platform. It’s all about celebrating the medium. 9
It’s Nice That Liv Siddall is the editorial assistant at It’s Nice That. She’s been with them for about a year now, rising through the ranks thanks to her “preternatural capability” a phrase used to describe her by Bryony Quinn, her team-mate at It’s Nice That. Who also said of her, she’s so fresh out of art school she still smells like turps: as it stands, that’s just why we knew she was the one to answer our questions, and she graciously obliged.
office with.’ Finally, she rather poetically describes being surrounded by high quality content, and talented artists as being in ‘a perpetual state of wonder.’
With so many flailing, inconsistent teams reaching for an iPhone and branding themselves as a social media PR guru, it’s refreshing to see a team do it right. ‘Twitter is a no-brainer for getting word out there due to the enormous amount of creatives on there.’ But It’s Nice That know their market and they ‘make sure [they] don’t neglect [their] Facebook page’ for the ‘large student following.’ “A perpetual state of wonder”
Liv is responsible for a good percentage of the posts on It’s Nice That, but the publication is the other side of the coin, and they’re keen to distance the two; though naturally they feed off each other: ‘the blog itself acts almost as an infinite reference bank, which is great.’ We wondered what the personal side of working for such a highly regarded blog/ publication was like and Liv said of the It’s Nice That team: ‘I doubt that there is a nicer or funnier group of people to be in an 11
INFO Art Director of Boneshaker Magazine. Craft and art related cycling publication. http://www.boneshakermag.com/ Where to get yours: http://www.boneshakermag.com/stockists/
Boneshaker is a magazine, co-founded by John Coe, printed and published in Bristol, which explores the cycling lifestyle. Sharing stories, illustrations and photography from its community around the world. However this is more than a magazine about bikes. Boneshaker documents innovative, interesting and quirky uses, sharing the stories about the people behind the bikes. Our coffee fuelled chat showcased John’s enthusiasm and passion for Boneshaker magazine and design as a whole. He spoke at a hundred miles an hour, and seems to live at the same pace. He works full time as a creative director at The Loop, a corporate graphic design company in Bristol. In his spare time he and friend, James Lucas, put together Boneshaker. James and John, had previously worked together on a zine called Gunfighter 29. With its success and their love of making it, they decided to set up Boneshaker, purely as a passion driven project. They were influenced by magazines such as Huck and Little White Lies, that both have striking design, alongside engaging content. They wanted to share stories about cycling and showcase the talent of illustration and photography that goes in hand with it. Initially putting £1000 each into it they made the first issue a year and a half ago. We are now eagerly awaiting issue seven. 12
When the publication was launched it was sold in London and Bristol in art bookshops that they knew about, such as the Arnolfini and Magma, now you can pick it up globally, as it is sold in 35 different countries. The back issues of Boneshaker are available to view and download from their website in PDF form with no charge. John describes themselves as “keen as mustard” to sell the magazine in its print format first and foremost. Although impressed and excited by the digital advances editorial design is making through iPads, this is not a route John desires for Boneshaker. Digitally John has made advances through social networking, such as Twitter. Which has allowed them to contact numerous countries and corporations that want to sell their magazine. Without Twitter and word of mouth the magazine wouldn’t be half as successful. Boneshaker’s web presence, up to date blog and website provide anticipation for the forthcoming issue. The magazine has no adverts and is therefore not profitable, as they want to keep at the reasonable price of £3.50. Which is fab for us students!
“Boneshaker is more than a cycling magazine, it is craft and art related as well. Although bikes totally run through it, it’s kind of more about the people.”
John invited us to see the most recent issue of Boneshaker being printed at Taylor Brother printers in Bristol. He spoke of how important it is to make sure the printed magazine is reflective of how you see it on screen when designing. He will always try to go down to the printers, and check the print outs. To get the correct colour balance four metal plates are made to separately apply, black, magenta, cyan and yellow to the paper. John will check the print and is able to increase the amount of ink for each of the colours to achieve a greater richness or lighter touch, whichever is required to specific sections of the print. Dealing with type, photography and illustration requires different amounts of ink, so it takes time, thought and a critical eye. The prints are then sent to a book binders, who cut the prints down and bind the magazines. They are then collected by John and cofounder James, who then have a hectic few days packaging them up to be distributed. Taylor Brothers send out the magazines around the UK, and the rest, with help from family and friends are sent off around the world. In the first stages of the magazine, to increase the sales, John and James jumped on the train to London with their bikes and 200 copies of Boneshaker. They cycled
around London with the magazines in a kids tow cart and approached companies, shops and cafes that they would love to have Boneshaker sold in. This hands on approach was a huge success and they came home with no magazines. Over half the magazines are now sold in boutique and independent bike shops. Since then John has been really enthusiastic about requests from the Tate, Design Museum and Serpentine Gallery all wanting to sell Boneshaker. Proving that the beautiful design is really recognised. Being shown around Taylor Brothers Printers we were able to see the many steps that it takes to make a well printed publication. We were welcomed by some lovely people, and it was great to see a real community of characters working there. It was surprising the amount of work that was done by hand, including having to guillotine thousands of clothing labels. The success of Boneshaker is down to the passion that drives it. Hard work goes into every stage of the process, from designing to print, then from marketing to distribution. John, through Boneshaker has managed a great balance between the printed publication and the digital age. By using digital to aid, compliment and push the magazine. The strength of it is down to a beautifully produced and designed printed publication. 15
Hand embroideried by Myrna Dâ€™Ambrosio, mybitsnpieces.tumblr.com 16
Michael Bojkowski Michael Bojkowski is a graphic designer, working under the banner of ‘ok interrupt’. He has over 10 years experience in the creative industries working on a wide range of projects for clients such as YCN and The Future Laboratory, to name but a couple. Recent years have seen Michael focusing on editorial design and in particular the recent re-launch of Grafik magazine, the UK’s only independent bi-monthly publication about graphic design. We got the chance to ask him a few questions over email. As well as acting as lead creative for Grafik, Michael runs an experimental publishing outfit called Press Publish, which publishes content in print and online. Press Publish has an official blog called Linefeed. It features all things related to art, design, film and music. Press Publish creates regular publications with selected and extended content from the blog connecting the two to each other. The official Linefeed magazine, LineRead is featured as part of the exhibition ‘Now in Production’, currently showing at the Walker Art Center.
tool for networking. Without an online presence it is almost impossible to succeed today, particularly for publishers. He says that magazines now need to offer readers more than just a printed publication, such as digital applications, blogs etc. To stay up-to-date with what’s going on, he reads newspapers as well keeping track of loads of blogs via Google Reader and Tumblr. As young designers he urged us to never stop thinking and doing, keep producing things we like and keep people updated about what we’re up to. “Sleep when you’re dead.”
Advice we have taken to our hearts.
One of the best things about working on Grafik, according to Michael, is the chance to work alongside excellent editors and writers and getting to read about graphic design as a part of your job. Social media plays a large part in Michael’s practice. He sees social media as a crucial 17
Fire & Knives Fire and Knives is a quarterly food journal for food-lovers; it’s filled with content from seasoned writers and newcomers alike and is a completely collaborative effort, with none of the typical ‘foodie’ snobbery. It’s run by Tim Hayward, a man who —if you’ll excuse the pun— has his fingers in many pies. Tim is a restaurateur who, other than founding Fire and Knives, acts as Editor-in-Chief, as well as being an established food journalist. Being such a traditional publication, on such a traditional subject, it’s great to see how Tim is using technology to turn the magazine into a living, breathing community, and not just a starchy and archaic food quarterly.
new talent along side the old hands who are looking to flex their creative muscle on something different, and Fire and Knives gives them that opportunity as “one of the few artistically credible outlets for food.”
“I get an average of 20 requests per week for internships and I have to explain to them that the whole operation is sitting on a Mac Air in my backpack.”
The magazine sustains itself through subscriptions, and before the initial launch, Fire and Knives sent out a link to a preview of the first issue to thousands of food loving tweeters, asking if anyone would want to subscribe, and people responded with gusto. The community element comes in with the way Fire and Knives is put together by a group of relative strangers who have never met, and share their work through Dropbox. It’s then proofed online and sent to press over the internet. The things that make Fire and Knives stand out are Tim’s meticulous attention to detail, and the ethos behind it; cultivating 19
INFO Computer Arts Magazine, a digital art & design magazine based in Bath. http://www.computerarts.co.uk/ Becca Allenâ€™s website and blog, where her personal work is featured. http://beccaallen.co.uk/ http://iambeccaallen.blogspot.com/
We met up with Becca Allen, a junior designer and illustrator at Computer Arts, over a cup of green tea one afternoon in Bath. She is a really passionate and energetic individual and we found it really inspiring to talk to her about how she has managed to get a job at one of the leading art and design magazines in the UK, just a year after graduating. Becca studied graphic design at Falmouth University, but she was torn between illustration and graphics during her first two years. Frustrated with her uni work she began freelancing for a shop her friend set up making screen prints from her garage, funded out of her own pocket. This spiralled into more contacts and commissions and she soon found herself really busy. Becca also managed to do a placement for Spark, a small design company in Hackney. After graduating she decided she wanted to get into editorial design. She made a handcrafted zine that contained all her work, and showcased the mammoth amount of freelance work she had been doing while doing her course. Becca was thrilled when she was offered an unpaid placement form Church of London (Little White Lies and Huck magazine) in London for the summer. As excited she was about this, she struggled to find a way to finance it. While trying to find a solution Puma 20
unexpectedly contacted her, regarding work at the D&AD New Blood exhibition and offered her a six month paid internship. Working at Puma, Becca learnt a lot being alongside the head designer, for example software skills and designing on a large scale. This sparked her interest for fashion and as a result, she is now producing freelance work for an Australian womenâ€™s clothing brand. Forced to move back home six months later, a friend encouraged her to apply for a junior designer job at Computer Arts magazine. A month later they phoned her up out of the blue asking her to come in for an interview, during which time she was happily working full-time as a freelance designer and wasnâ€™t looking for a nine to five job. Going for the interview she was honest about her strengths and weaknesses and relaxed about her approach. She told them about all of her freelance work and how she would continue doing it if she got the job. So, since August, she works nine to five at Computer Arts designing (as well as on commission for illustrations) whilst filling her evenings with freelance work. What a dedicated and inspiring designer!
â€œI think that the more you do and the more passionate and excited you are about something it will shine through. If you really love design and it is what you want to do, that will come across.â€? 21
Illustrated by Laura Beaven, laurabeavendesign.tumblr.com 22
Staffan Bengtsson Bruno magazine is a new quarterly magazine about fashion, art, design and architecture. Staffan Bengtsson is the co-founder, and we were lucky enough to receive his views on editorial design and what it’s like to work at Bruno. Prior to working at Bruno magazine, Staffan worked on another Swedish design magazine called Form. He has also worked as a TV-producer for design and architecture programs as well as writing a large amount of books. Being the owner of an independent magazine gives Staffan freedom to write about things he really cares about. In the latest issue, he features interviews with designers, musicians as well as articles about architectural buildings and Italian design. Its really beautifully designed and worth a look! Staffan is open for new discoveries and is a fan of digital publications, as Bruno magazine is already designed in consideration for the iPad format. Saying this, he is also a print enthusiast, as Bruno today only exists in the printed form. The digital development of the editorial world is, according to Staffan, positive. It creates more of a competition among printers and publishers. Therefore Bruno can be sold at a competitive price making it accessible for a greater audience. It is not an exclusive magazine, Staffan says, but something for everyone.
‘bombarding Facebook’ as well as using Twitter. It is a crucial tool for the magazine in its initial stage in order to aid future success. Besides marketing, Staffan also uses it as a tool for making new contacts and has also occasionally found colleagues that way. ‘Print media will always be welcomed. Just as people love the smell of freshly baked bread, people love the smell of magazines and books. But it requires that you must take your time; trust the written word and the more elaborate picture. Digital platforms rush like spring floods, but printed-paper media freezes as ice and is still for a moment, it is more suited to reflection, and original thinking.’
Staffan was kind enough to give us, as young designers, some advice on how to succeed in the editorial world. It is important to formulate yourself in an honest and direct way, but not forget to be up to date on what is going on around you and keeping yourself informed. He also stresses the fact of showing respect and sees humbleness as one of the best qualities one can have. He said to make sure you are always true to yourself and remember why you began what you are doing. Do things you like, don’t bother about the traditions and follow your own desires. ‘Don’t be afraid to dance out of happiness, but don’t be scared to have enemies either – it will stimulate you!’
Social media is key to Staffan and he uses it frequently to promote the magazine, 23
Jake Tilson We received a great response from Jake Tilson, an influential graphic designer, publisher and author, who created Atlas magazine, a collaborative publication displaying art in a refreshing way in the late 1980’s. Throughout Jake’s career he has embraced the developing technological world and gave us a great insight to how digital media has changed the way he works as a designer. Today Jake uses social media a great deal in his projects, he spoke of social networking as a natural way to extend the ideas and content of a project. It stems from why he wanted to create magazines in the first place, which is all about social media, socialising and sharing ideas. “I treat every correspondence as a piece of art”. As one of the first people to make and design websites in the UK, always embracing new technology has allowed Jake to expand his practice. He expresses his interest in how the current methods of printing or reproduction reflect the age they were produced in. Therefore he was a keen user of Gestetmer printers at school, early photocopiers in the 1970’s and 80’s, colour laser copiers, then fax machines, copy cameras, typesetting machines, Super8 film, Video 8, Hi8 video, 35mm print film, rubber stamps, early dot matrix computers and finally the Macintosh.
Now completely fluid with Macs Jake has managed to fully incorporate and reintroduce more analogue ways of working alongside the technology. “There is nothing more exciting than getting up in the morning and working on a project that you love. I know it’s a good project if I find myself getting anxious by later afternoon – wishing the day could be longer, so I could work longer – my dream is a 72 hour day.”
Jake’s work showcases a great balance between digital and print media. We asked his opinion on the future for printed publications; “The future for printed publications, such as text books, will migrate to tablets, whereas ‘bookish books’ will flourish. However there are some grey areas, such as novels as books. Whereby we expect people to convert to tablets, but many people still like novels as books – there is nothing quite like holding 400 pages of a novel in one had as you read the last two pages, the end of the book becomes a physical experience. A tablet can’t do this. Although what tablets ‘can’ do is extraordinary!”
- Pete Seymour, White Space
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