It’s not often we have a feature hook that works for both our teenage magazine Flipside and our professional grown-up magazine E&T but a new Bond film is one of those. We were spoilt for cover image choice but we chose Connery for E&T’s more mature readership and Craig for Flipside.
Next week is the launch of our latest Flipside spinoff in the shape of a poster magazine for teachers. Flipside is aimed squarely at the target readership of young teenagers but we had become aware that some teachers were using it in the classroom so we thought we’d provide them with something to help with lessons and to brighten up the classroom wall. Schools had long been asking us for posters to push Flipside too.
The new publication is a giant A1 poster for the classroom on one side, which folds up to make a small magazine containing lesson plans, mono worksheets for copying and an A4 cover on the other. So one side is designed to appeal to the usual Flipside target readership and the other to teachers. It makes for an interesting flatplan of eight A4 pages all backed with one giant A1 page. The folding had to be particularly ingenious too, to provide the magazine feel of pages with a logical sequence to them. We visited printers Wyndeham in Cornwall to see it rolling off the press.
Each issue will take a subject from the latest issue of Flipside and expand on the science and technology behind it, especially those aspects within the national curriculum for secondary schools. The first issue is about the science, engineering and biology to do with the electric guitar, using as its hook a feature in the Fipside magazine about the first computer game to come with a real guitar.
The IET’s Wiring Matters has relaunched with a new design and a new editor. I asked Roger Dettmer, who used to be features editor for E&T, to edit the magazine. And the new design is inspired by partworks and reference publications, complete with extended staples to file in a lever arch folder. The pictures are mono throughout but with areas filled with splashes of colour where it’s needed – on wires for example. I would normally recommend a brighter, bolder, in-your-face design for this readership of electricians and electrical contractors but felt the style had to go with the highly technical tone of the articles, with headlines such as: “Changes to Appendix 4 of Amendment 1 of BS 7671:2008”.
For our wood special cover, our Chief Designer John took a blowtorch to a block of wood. He used a laser-cut metal stencil originally made for our laser anniversary issue last year to burn the E&T logo into a sample American Hard Maple sent to us from the American Hardwood Export Council. E&T isn’t limited by the usual newsstand considerations so we dispensed with the main ‘wood’ coverline as the image conveys the idea. We look at how wood is making a surprise comeback in areas from energy to defence and some unexpected new uses for wood, from antibacterial agents to the plyscrapers taking wood to new heights. We have also extended the wood theme to the E&T website this month with a special wooden masthead.
E&T’s design department won a silver and two bronze awards in this year’s TABPI or ‘Tabbie’ Awards. The design categories are listed. E&T also got some honourable mentions, making it the single most successful title in this year’s Tabbies. Swifty’s brilliant audio special cover (see below) took the silver and one of the bronze awards. Pictured here is the entry for best special issue cover that took bronze.
Our shortlist of covers for the London 2012 Olympics issue, which has been at least a year in the planning. Vitali Vitaliev, our regular columnist, this month remembers the Moscow Olympics and the strange economic miracles that were conjured for foreign tourists for two weeks only. Here he is shown surrounded by some of the vast range of team GB branded goods. Umbrellas I can understand. But toothbrushes? Is there no product too prosaic for the Team GB colours treatment?
After much deliberation we went for the safer middle option.
Congratulations to E&T staff and contributors for their success so far in the international trade press awards known as the Tabbies. They are called ‘winners’ but they are shortlisted for greater glory as we find out if anyone gets a gold, silver or bronze award later on. Anyway, the list so far is:
- Swifty’s audio issue cover for Front Cover Digital Imagery (see blog below)
- Swifty’s audio special for Front Cover Illustration
- E&T’s Bill Wyman with e-cigarette for Front Cover Photograph
- John Rooney (our Chief Designer) for Opening Page or Spread with a Professor Heinz Wolff interview
- John Rooney for Front Cover Special Issue with the Innovation Issue
- Aasha Bodhani’s interview with Maggie Berry for best Focus or Profile Article
- Vitali Vitaliev’s After All column for Regular Column
The tabbies are unusual in that they don’t have an awards ceremony dinner, so unfortunately we won’t be going across the Atlantic to accept them. But here’s hoping.
No gongs for us at this year’s PPA Awards but it’s a real achievement that our staff and contributors managed to get two of our magazines shortlisted in no less than four categories. See the four entries in this site’s own awards listings here or find us in the full list on the PPA’s site here. I am pleased that Justin Pollard was recognised in the columnist category because humour is so hard to get right on a trade or professional magazine.
We wanted a real retro hi-fi feel for the cover of E&T’s December 2011 music special so we asked the graphic designer Swifty to illustrate it. He’s designed some very cool album covers, posters and typefaces that hark back to the soul and jazz record graphics of the fifties and sixties. We loved them both, but tweaked the one on the left for the final cover.
One of our spacecraft is missing, the Russians admitted last month. There was no Cold War-like fear of covert superpower sabotage as there might have been in the days of the space race, but this mysterious disappearance alarmed a nervous aerospace industry. The launch of the £146m Russian communications satellite aboard a Proton rocket seemed to go fine and flight controllers had just began to celebrate when it vanished from the radar screens.
It alarmed an industry which has become more dependent on Russia’s launch capability to reach the International Space Agency since the retirement of NASA’s space shuttles earlier this year. It also came just days the Russian space agency Roscosmos said it would be moving resources away from manned flight to commercial satellites.
So the failure refocused attention on the future of space travel now that NASA’s Space Shuttle is a museum piece.
Our satellite correspondent Mark Williamson visited the Baikonur launch site in Kazahkstan a few weeks before the disappearance of the Express-A4M. Baikonur doesn’t do the Hollywood countdowns, it’s more cavalier about allowing spectators close and the building design couldn’t be more different to what America is building for future space launches.
Construction has started on the world’s first commercial spaceport, designed by Foster and Partners, in the New Mexico desert. It is where Virgin Galactic will launch its first tourists into space – as soon as next year if all goes to plan. Take a look at the extraordinary trilobite-shaped buildings and find out how the centre plans to give people a holiday that’s out of this world even before blast-off in our feature on page 33.
The shuttle became a twentieth century design icon. We take a quick look at other great transport designs in this issue, of the wheeled – and legged – variety. Mobility scooters are a growing business but there are many more ingenious ways of helping people with personal mobility problems to get around. We pick ten of the best. This month’s photo essay celebrates the two millionth Mini to roll off the BMW plant in Oxford. The Mini is of course a car design classic. But there’s another – for a certain generation, possibly greater – classic coming up for auction next month. The ever-so-pink Panthermobile is star of our big picture photo gallery right now. Altogether now: Well, here he is, the pink panther, The rinky-dink panther…