Elephant Magazine, 2014—present
Client: Frame Publishers
The new Elephant sees the contemporary art culture title metamorphose both editorially and in terms of design, with new features played out in new ways. We were commissioned to redesign the magazine making it more timely, more journalistic and ‘lifestyle’, more readable and enjoyable, getting skin-close in a way, to the lively culture that thrives in and around contemporary art. One of the overarching principles of the brief was to make Elephant look “less like a design magazine”.
We avoided the style-over-substance approach by letting the content speak for itself: the design is based on the content and not the other way around. It was about finding the right balance between words and images, creating well-considered, aesthetically intriguing, thoughtful and playful layouts that respond to the content without feeling dry, formulaic or over-designed. This was achieved by ‘editorialising’ the visual openers of the sections, allowing the imagery of the content itself to lead the navigation of the magazine (instead of dividing the contents into rigid, formulaic sections). In this sense, the design is closer to a lifestyle magazine that speaks to a broad, varied and multicultural art-loving audience. The 'sleeved' Paper Galleries with the different paper stocks add a nice tactile feel creating a moment of contemplative silence within the magazine. In summary: we tried to keep the visual language playful but transparent to let the content shine. Readability was a priority: it is irritating when the design interferes with the simple act of engaging with the content.
Article on Frame's website
Article on MagCulture