ISSUE 28 of LeftLion magazine is currently in the hands of the printers and due to hit the streets on Friday 27th March. This is my first issue operating solely as Art Director, with our new designer, Tom Wingrove, taking over page design duties. After the initial editorial and planning meetings, we agreed on the visual ideas for each page and then I left him pretty much to his own devices, offering only minimal advice beyond the necessary technical info.
This was partly due to a hectic personal schedule, but also to see what he did of his own accord without too much input from me. He has done a grand job, designing the mag with a very different personal style to my own. For one, I am big lover of The Grid and white space, using these as the basis for (almost) all my page layouts, designing through the subtleties of harmony, balance, restricted colour palettes and careful font choices; letting the content take precedent.
This issue shows a departure from this approach, with denser, much more varied layouts and use of images. It will be interesting to see in print and I’m also intrigued to see what our readers make of the new look. Ironically, the cover is one of the simplest and cleanest we have ever produced, which stands in contrast to the busy look of the interior pages.
The cover boasts an image of a record-wreath retirement present, styled by Rikki Marr, as a tribute to one of England’s greatest independent records shops, Selectadisc, which is closing its Nottingham branch after 43 years of business. Fact fans take note: the shop began as a market stall before expanding to become a real brick-walls-and-door shop with a branch in London which was immortalised on the cover of Oasis’ LP, What’s the Story, Morning Glory.
This cover is the second in sucession which uses a lot of white space, something we haven’t done traditonally, but I think we were totally right to on both occasions. I can’t imagine the wreath on this cover having the same stark impact if it sat on a coloured background. Besides, despite what some people say, I think white space will always have a place in magazine design, as it allows the content to breathe on the page in such an inimitable way.