Page 1


66

67

Beyond print – and back The launch of ‘handbag’ format fashion monthly Glamour was a big success – knocking Cosmopolitan from its long-standing position as the biggest-selling monthly within a year – and it led to a debate among designers about a lack of innovation. Jeremy Leslie, creative director at contract publisher John Brown Citrus, used it as evidence of a problem, telling Design Week: ‘When it’s big news that someone has produced something smaller, it highlights in the broader context how little diversity the market has seen.’ For Leslie, design hadn’t evolved since the 1970s. ‘There’s a perceived way glossies should look. All these magazines have the same, cliched way of presenting themselves. All the front covers are the same. It’s formulaic and very repetitive.’* The small format – ‘travel size’ – was adopted by many other titles, including Elle, Marie Claire, GQ and Cosmopolitan – alongside their usual size. Creativity was alive and well elsewhere, however, among independent magazines – a sector today documented and promoted in Leslie’s magCulture blog. One independent title, Marmalade, dated its inspiration to July 2001 when the Face carried David Beckham on its cover. ‘We knew that the whole idea of “cool” was over right there and then,’ co-editor Sasha Teulon told the Guardian. ‘At that same time Dazed & Confused was busy rewriting press releases and nobody was going out there to discover the new creativity that has always been one of Britain’s biggest exports.’** Free magazines produced by contract publishers for the customers of companies such as Marks and Spencer and Sky TV were dominating the twice-yearly circulation figures. In 2003, Virgin Atlantic launched an ‘upper class suite’ in its aircraft and introduced a free luxury quarterly, Carlos, for its customers that was designed to break the mould in contract publishing. The idea was that it had

been left behind by a rich traveller whose name was Carlos and there was no Virgin branding on the pages. The magazine only lasted a couple of years, but customer titles carried on expanding: by 2010, they would hold a third of the places for the top 100 circulations.

Yet, even as many big publishers seemed to lose their faith in print, there was a blossoming of independent magazines as well as fashion and style magazines with a global outlook. Wallpaper founder Tyler Brûlé returned to magazines with Monocle. He ignored prevailing design approaches and rejected the view that newspapers and magazines were a failing medium, arguing that publishers were not investing in their main product and were being distracted by digital media. They did not appreciate that a highly-mobile international audience was willing to pay for quality content. Monocle launched its own branded products, from notebooks to luggage and bicycles, and its own shops around the world. And the magazine that had made Brûlé’s name continued to develop. For the August 2010 issue, Wallpaper produced a ‘handmade’ issue with seven paper stocks, and 21,000 unique covers designed by readers and printed on digital presses. Furthermore, every object featured was commissioned by the magazine. To top it off, there was a paper house to cut out and build.

The 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, put fashion magazines back in the public mind again, but much of the talk in the industry was of decline in the face of online competition. The same year saw the launch of digital facsimiles with built-in interactive features and searches by Exact Editions and other ‘digital news-stands’. The Spectator (which dates back to 1828), the Scientist, London Review of Books and Literary Review were the first four. Six years later, there were more than 100 magazines available from Exact Editions alone, including the Lady, launched in 1885, and Dazed & Confused. During the severe weather of early 2010, Hachette Filipacchi made issues of Elle available free as digital editions so subscribers were not inconvenienced by late delivery of their magazines. A digital subscription would typically cost about half that of a UK postal print subscription, and the cost advantage would be far higher to subscribers overseas. Tablet computers such as the Apple iPad seemed to offer a lifeline to large publishers, which feared a loss of readers and advertising to digital services in the same way that commercial television had affected magazines since 1955. The iPad was seen as providing a way for publishers to develop magazine apps that would deliver the visual richness of print and so earn money from subscriptions, rather than just ploughing investment into free websites that offered little in the way of advertising revenue. The industry displayed a lack of confidence in print not seen since the 1970s, with some titles closing and launches drying up.

DAZED & CONFUSED September 1982

But it is among independent magazines that design is blooming. Their praises were sung on blogs and at conferences and high design values could support premium prices – typically twice the price of a monthly. Marmalade has been accompanied by a stream of titles, some of which returned to illustration, Little White Lies and the delightful Anorak quarterly for children being two examples; the Chap is a ‘satirical magazine for modern gentlemen’ espousing pipes, slippers and knitted jumpers alongside steam punk. To Simon Esterson, Karen – based around everyday life in Malmesbury – is ‘as beautiful as a bubble and as complicated as a snowflake’. Delayed Gratification brings the power of data-based illustration – infographics – to a review of the previous quarter’s news, while Pretty Nostalgic feels more like a book than a magazine. For many of these titles, a move to environmentally friendly paper means they eschew the varnishing and lamination of the glossies. Such magazines wear their heart on their covers. They bring an enthusiasm – and occasional wackiness – that may have been lost by the biggest publishers. The ‘blockbuster’ approach to launches adopted by the biggest publishers mimicked that of the US film studios, in the same way that they fall over themselves to put film stars on the cover of their magazines. However, for small, independent publishers, the relative cheapness of the production technology and the ability to reach potential readers though social media coupled with online payments really has opened up a whole new world of print. *‘Close ranks’ by Trish Lorenz, Design Week, 7 October 2004, p18. **‘Content still king on quality street’ by Will Hodgkinson, Guardian, 20 November 2006.

DELAYED GRATIFICATION September 1982

WALLPAPER September 1982


66

67

Beyond print – and back The launch of ‘handbag’ format fashion monthly Glamour was a big success – knocking Cosmopolitan from its long-standing position as the biggest-selling monthly within a year – and it led to a debate among designers about a lack of innovation. Jeremy Leslie, creative director at contract publisher John Brown Citrus, used it as evidence of a problem, telling Design Week: ‘When it’s big news that someone has produced something smaller, it highlights in the broader context how little diversity the market has seen.’ For Leslie, design hadn’t evolved since the 1970s. ‘There’s a perceived way glossies should look. All these magazines have the same, cliched way of presenting themselves. All the front covers are the same. It’s formulaic and very repetitive.’* The small format – ‘travel size’ – was adopted by many other titles, including Elle, Marie Claire, GQ and Cosmopolitan – alongside their usual size. Creativity was alive and well elsewhere, however, among independent magazines – a sector today documented and promoted in Leslie’s magCulture blog. One independent title, Marmalade, dated its inspiration to July 2001 when the Face carried David Beckham on its cover. ‘We knew that the whole idea of “cool” was over right there and then,’ co-editor Sasha Teulon told the Guardian. ‘At that same time Dazed & Confused was busy rewriting press releases and nobody was going out there to discover the new creativity that has always been one of Britain’s biggest exports.’** Free magazines produced by contract publishers for the customers of companies such as Marks and Spencer and Sky TV were dominating the twice-yearly circulation figures. In 2003, Virgin Atlantic launched an ‘upper class suite’ in its aircraft and introduced a free luxury quarterly, Carlos, for its customers that was designed to break the mould in contract publishing. The idea was that it had

been left behind by a rich traveller whose name was Carlos and there was no Virgin branding on the pages. The magazine only lasted a couple of years, but customer titles carried on expanding: by 2010, they would hold a third of the places for the top 100 circulations.

Yet, even as many big publishers seemed to lose their faith in print, there was a blossoming of independent magazines as well as fashion and style magazines with a global outlook. Wallpaper founder Tyler Brûlé returned to magazines with Monocle. He ignored prevailing design approaches and rejected the view that newspapers and magazines were a failing medium, arguing that publishers were not investing in their main product and were being distracted by digital media. They did not appreciate that a highly-mobile international audience was willing to pay for quality content. Monocle launched its own branded products, from notebooks to luggage and bicycles, and its own shops around the world. And the magazine that had made Brûlé’s name continued to develop. For the August 2010 issue, Wallpaper produced a ‘handmade’ issue with seven paper stocks, and 21,000 unique covers designed by readers and printed on digital presses. Furthermore, every object featured was commissioned by the magazine. To top it off, there was a paper house to cut out and build.

The 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, put fashion magazines back in the public mind again, but much of the talk in the industry was of decline in the face of online competition. The same year saw the launch of digital facsimiles with built-in interactive features and searches by Exact Editions and other ‘digital news-stands’. The Spectator (which dates back to 1828), the Scientist, London Review of Books and Literary Review were the first four. Six years later, there were more than 100 magazines available from Exact Editions alone, including the Lady, launched in 1885, and Dazed & Confused. During the severe weather of early 2010, Hachette Filipacchi made issues of Elle available free as digital editions so subscribers were not inconvenienced by late delivery of their magazines. A digital subscription would typically cost about half that of a UK postal print subscription, and the cost advantage would be far higher to subscribers overseas. Tablet computers such as the Apple iPad seemed to offer a lifeline to large publishers, which feared a loss of readers and advertising to digital services in the same way that commercial television had affected magazines since 1955. The iPad was seen as providing a way for publishers to develop magazine apps that would deliver the visual richness of print and so earn money from subscriptions, rather than just ploughing investment into free websites that offered little in the way of advertising revenue. The industry displayed a lack of confidence in print not seen since the 1970s, with some titles closing and launches drying up.

DAZED & CONFUSED September 1982

But it is among independent magazines that design is blooming. Their praises were sung on blogs and at conferences and high design values could support premium prices – typically twice the price of a monthly. Marmalade has been accompanied by a stream of titles, some of which returned to illustration, Little White Lies and the delightful Anorak quarterly for children being two examples; the Chap is a ‘satirical magazine for modern gentlemen’ espousing pipes, slippers and knitted jumpers alongside steam punk. To Simon Esterson, Karen – based around everyday life in Malmesbury – is ‘as beautiful as a bubble and as complicated as a snowflake’. Delayed Gratification brings the power of data-based illustration – infographics – to a review of the previous quarter’s news, while Pretty Nostalgic feels more like a book than a magazine. For many of these titles, a move to environmentally friendly paper means they eschew the varnishing and lamination of the glossies. Such magazines wear their heart on their covers. They bring an enthusiasm – and occasional wackiness – that may have been lost by the biggest publishers. The ‘blockbuster’ approach to launches adopted by the biggest publishers mimicked that of the US film studios, in the same way that they fall over themselves to put film stars on the cover of their magazines. However, for small, independent publishers, the relative cheapness of the production technology and the ability to reach potential readers though social media coupled with online payments really has opened up a whole new world of print. *‘Close ranks’ by Trish Lorenz, Design Week, 7 October 2004, p18. **‘Content still king on quality street’ by Will Hodgkinson, Guardian, 20 November 2006.

DELAYED GRATIFICATION September 1982

WALLPAPER September 1982


14 C O N T R A S T I N G   A P P R O A C H E S

15

INTERIORS

CITY LIMITS

(9 October 1981)

TATLER

(September 1982)

TATLER

(July 1980)

City Limits was set up by former staff of Time Out after a dispute over owner Tony Elliot ending the system of equal pay for all staff. During the dispute, Time Out staff had produced a protest news sheet called Not… and this is referred to in the blue star on the front cover of the first City Limits, which says ‘Incorporating “NOT...”.’ The cover was by former Sunday Times Magazine designer David King, who used a Constructivist style derived from his interest in Communist-era Russia. Inside, art director Carol Warren made use of strong shapes that would work on the newsprint paper the magazine used.

When Mark Boxer’s London Life variant of Tatler closed in 1967, the Thomson organisation had sold the name to the Illustrated County Magazine Group (publishers of East Anglia Life), which had revived it as a monthly in 1968 and reverted to the advertising-dominated cover design of 1903. In 1979, it changed hands again and Tina Brown was appointed as editor. Her success led Condé Nast to buy the title and she later went to the US to salvage Vanity Fair and pep up the New Yorker. Brown brought a sharper feel to all the contents and wit to cover lines. Even months of the year developed attitude, such as this ‘Sassy September’ issue with ‘Last of the summer wine’ on the spine. The bowing Tatler gent was used on the spine. The cover shot here is of Paula Yates by Norman Parkinson, complete with tattoo – which Cosmopolitan had avoided showing for a July 1981 cover. The assistant art editor was Lawrence Morton.

Mark Boxer may have failed as editor with London Life, but he returned as editor of Tatler and became editorial director of Condé Nast. He had also continued his parallel career as ‘Marc’ the cartoonist, illustrating articles while art editor of Queen, working for newspapers and magazines, including the Listener and New Statesman, and penning whole page portraits such as these at Tatler, often with the help of jazz singer George Melly. Boxer died in 1988 and the British Society of Magazine Editors has given an outstanding contribution award in his name since – the first went to Neville Brody.

Publisher Kevin Kelly set up Interiors with Min Hogg as editor-in-chief and Wendy Harrop as art director. It was later bought by Condé Nast and changed its name to World of Interiors. The design is a classic of understatement with excellent photography used to show off the world’s most beautiful homes at a leisurely pace. Two spreads showing the unrushed style of the magazine with photographs of sumptuous houses by Nic Barlow and Richard Davies.

London Voice (212 x 298mm, stapled, 92 pages)

Tatler and Bystander Magazine and Publishing (224 x 304mm, perfect bound, 156 pages)

Tatler and Bystander Magazine and Publishing (224 x 304mm, perfect bound, 116 pages)

Pharos Publications (215 x 278mm, perfect bound, 208 pages)

(November 1981)


14 C O N T R A S T I N G   A P P R O A C H E S

15

INTERIORS

CITY LIMITS

(9 October 1981)

TATLER

(September 1982)

TATLER

(July 1980)

City Limits was set up by former staff of Time Out after a dispute over owner Tony Elliot ending the system of equal pay for all staff. During the dispute, Time Out staff had produced a protest news sheet called Not… and this is referred to in the blue star on the front cover of the first City Limits, which says ‘Incorporating “NOT...”.’ The cover was by former Sunday Times Magazine designer David King, who used a Constructivist style derived from his interest in Communist-era Russia. Inside, art director Carol Warren made use of strong shapes that would work on the newsprint paper the magazine used.

When Mark Boxer’s London Life variant of Tatler closed in 1967, the Thomson organisation had sold the name to the Illustrated County Magazine Group (publishers of East Anglia Life), which had revived it as a monthly in 1968 and reverted to the advertising-dominated cover design of 1903. In 1979, it changed hands again and Tina Brown was appointed as editor. Her success led Condé Nast to buy the title and she later went to the US to salvage Vanity Fair and pep up the New Yorker. Brown brought a sharper feel to all the contents and wit to cover lines. Even months of the year developed attitude, such as this ‘Sassy September’ issue with ‘Last of the summer wine’ on the spine. The bowing Tatler gent was used on the spine. The cover shot here is of Paula Yates by Norman Parkinson, complete with tattoo – which Cosmopolitan had avoided showing for a July 1981 cover. The assistant art editor was Lawrence Morton.

Mark Boxer may have failed as editor with London Life, but he returned as editor of Tatler and became editorial director of Condé Nast. He had also continued his parallel career as ‘Marc’ the cartoonist, illustrating articles while art editor of Queen, working for newspapers and magazines, including the Listener and New Statesman, and penning whole page portraits such as these at Tatler, often with the help of jazz singer George Melly. Boxer died in 1988 and the British Society of Magazine Editors has given an outstanding contribution award in his name since – the first went to Neville Brody.

Publisher Kevin Kelly set up Interiors with Min Hogg as editor-in-chief and Wendy Harrop as art director. It was later bought by Condé Nast and changed its name to World of Interiors. The design is a classic of understatement with excellent photography used to show off the world’s most beautiful homes at a leisurely pace. Two spreads showing the unrushed style of the magazine with photographs of sumptuous houses by Nic Barlow and Richard Davies.

London Voice (212 x 298mm, stapled, 92 pages)

Tatler and Bystander Magazine and Publishing (224 x 304mm, perfect bound, 156 pages)

Tatler and Bystander Magazine and Publishing (224 x 304mm, perfect bound, 116 pages)

Pharos Publications (215 x 278mm, perfect bound, 208 pages)

(November 1981)


16 C O N T R A S T I N G   A P P R O A C H E S

BLUEPRINT

17

(November 1983)

ELLE

(November 1985)

PRIMA

Blueprint gave portraits space on its large pages. Another photograph by Phil Sayer of US graphic designer April Greiman dominates this spread and has been cropped to exploit the angles of the image. The art editors were Simon Esterson and Stephen Coates.

The cover photograph by Gilles Tapie was of model Yasmin Parveneh, who married Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon in December 1985. Inside, modernist values are expounded by an international template based around Futura display type for the expansion of the French magazine into the UK and US. Contrasting weights of Futura were used for the headlines with Univers for the body copy. Inside, the cover motif of text set at an angle – a technique that harks back to the Russian Constructivists in the early 1930s – was picked up in the layouts. Fleet Street and Cosmopolitan veteran Joyce Hopkirk was editorial director with Sally Brampton as editor and Malgosia Szemberg as deputy art director. Elle set out to take a different angle on style with a gossip column opening out the fashion pages, which featured strong shapes that bled off and contrasted with the white backgrounds. Gilles Tapie took the knitting pictures with styling by Debbi Mason.

Wordsearch (??????mm, stapled, ?? pages)

News International-Hachette (224 x 304mm, perfect bound, 228 pages)

Blueprint confirmed the reputation of Simon Esterson, who would later be appointed an RDI. It chose a large format and focused on strong photographs using an international approach, appealing to a reader interested in design, architecture and style. This cover by Phil Sayer from the second issue is of industrial designer Daniel Weil, who had produced the Radio in a Bag* in 1982 and joined Pentagram a decade later. * Radio in a Bag: W.9-1992 Gallery location: National Art Library, room 76, case 19.

(October 1986)

Prima brought modern-day German design and editorial values to the UK with a focus on value for money for readers. There were few advertising pages and a lot of text on each page alongside small images compared with British competitors. Page margins are narrow and there are tip boxes and lots of elements on each page. The ‘white space’ and open layouts of British magazines were anathema to Prima. The giant pattern sheet – a ‘unique selling point’ in the marketing jargon – folded out to a size about equal to 16

A4 pages; readers of other magazines would have to pay for such patterns. All the elements of a domestic women’s magazine were included, apart from fiction. There were pages of cookery cards to cut out and keep, with prices for the ingredients in the four recipes on each page. Iris Burton was editor and Anthony Essam art director, with typesetting by Solecast in London and gravure printing in Germany. A year before, TV Times publisher Independent Television Publications also used a German model, Bild der Frau published by

Axel Springer, to launch Chat, a colour tabloid weekly with target sales of a million and a price of 18p, half that of a typical women’s weekly. It did not reach the target and was turned into an A4 weekly by IPC. The three spreads here demonstrate classic women’s magazines features: winter wardrobe on a budget (photography by Ursula Steiger); practical crafts (Belinda Banks); practical fashion based on the giant pattern sheet (Nigel Limb).

Gruner & Jahr (214 x 280mm, stapled, 140 pages)


16 C O N T R A S T I N G   A P P R O A C H E S

BLUEPRINT

17

(November 1983)

ELLE

(November 1985)

PRIMA

Blueprint gave portraits space on its large pages. Another photograph by Phil Sayer of US graphic designer April Greiman dominates this spread and has been cropped to exploit the angles of the image. The art editors were Simon Esterson and Stephen Coates.

The cover photograph by Gilles Tapie was of model Yasmin Parveneh, who married Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon in December 1985. Inside, modernist values are expounded by an international template based around Futura display type for the expansion of the French magazine into the UK and US. Contrasting weights of Futura were used for the headlines with Univers for the body copy. Inside, the cover motif of text set at an angle – a technique that harks back to the Russian Constructivists in the early 1930s – was picked up in the layouts. Fleet Street and Cosmopolitan veteran Joyce Hopkirk was editorial director with Sally Brampton as editor and Malgosia Szemberg as deputy art director. Elle set out to take a different angle on style with a gossip column opening out the fashion pages, which featured strong shapes that bled off and contrasted with the white backgrounds. Gilles Tapie took the knitting pictures with styling by Debbi Mason.

Wordsearch (??????mm, stapled, ?? pages)

News International-Hachette (224 x 304mm, perfect bound, 228 pages)

Blueprint confirmed the reputation of Simon Esterson, who would later be appointed an RDI. It chose a large format and focused on strong photographs using an international approach, appealing to a reader interested in design, architecture and style. This cover by Phil Sayer from the second issue is of industrial designer Daniel Weil, who had produced the Radio in a Bag* in 1982 and joined Pentagram a decade later. * Radio in a Bag: W.9-1992 Gallery location: National Art Library, room 76, case 19.

(October 1986)

Prima brought modern-day German design and editorial values to the UK with a focus on value for money for readers. There were few advertising pages and a lot of text on each page alongside small images compared with British competitors. Page margins are narrow and there are tip boxes and lots of elements on each page. The ‘white space’ and open layouts of British magazines were anathema to Prima. The giant pattern sheet – a ‘unique selling point’ in the marketing jargon – folded out to a size about equal to 16

A4 pages; readers of other magazines would have to pay for such patterns. All the elements of a domestic women’s magazine were included, apart from fiction. There were pages of cookery cards to cut out and keep, with prices for the ingredients in the four recipes on each page. Iris Burton was editor and Anthony Essam art director, with typesetting by Solecast in London and gravure printing in Germany. A year before, TV Times publisher Independent Television Publications also used a German model, Bild der Frau published by

Axel Springer, to launch Chat, a colour tabloid weekly with target sales of a million and a price of 18p, half that of a typical women’s weekly. It did not reach the target and was turned into an A4 weekly by IPC. The three spreads here demonstrate classic women’s magazines features: winter wardrobe on a budget (photography by Ursula Steiger); practical crafts (Belinda Banks); practical fashion based on the giant pattern sheet (Nigel Limb).

Gruner & Jahr (214 x 280mm, stapled, 140 pages)


British Magazine Design  

This book is an investigation into the design and history of British magazines over the past 170 years. It identifies turning points and new...

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