Tuesday, September 25, 2012

illustrators Magazine: Previewing Issue #2

Guest author Peter Richardson continues this week's series describing how the newly launched illustrators, a quarterly magazine celebrating the greatest UK and European illustration of the past 150 years, came to be.

The first task was to come up with a design format and a logo or masthead which would encapsulate our spirit and intent.


We eventually refined what we felt was a memorable and eye-catching logo, whilst embodying the clean, authoritative, and inviting layouts that should be an integral part of the reading experience. We are committed to the principle that if the reader is distracted by too busy and self-important page designs, then they are not going to be in thrall to the artwork and accompanying text. This for all the team is an absolute priority.


Speaking of the team, we are really privileged to have an incredibly talented and motivated group of artists and writers, working as part of our editorial staff. A couple of them will already be familiar to followers of Today’s Inspiration. Our associate editor Bryn Havord was an award-winning art director in the 1960s and 1970s, who helped revolutionize the look of periodicals during those heady days. He started doing general studio work on Eagle comic and within a few years was art director and associate editor at Woman’s Mirror, commissioning the likes of Michael Johnson, Walter Wyles, and Renato Fratini, to create truly amazing double page spreads which were seen by millions of readers, and helped to define the look of the era.

(Below; a spread from issue two's feature on Renato Fratini. On the left page, the first commission that Bryn Havord gave Fratini when Bryn was working as art editor at Woman's Mirror.)Illustrators13

Aside from his terrific editorial input into each issue, Bryn has remained in contact with some of these artists, and has a wealth of insights and stories to tell about the way they worked. We have features by Bryn on Michael Johnson, Walter Wyles, Brian Sanders, and the cartoonist Peter Maddocks which will be appearing in future issues.

In the second issue of illustrators, we takes an in depth look at the work of David Wright, whose work graces the top of this post. In addition to being the creator of the largely forgotten but exquisite Carol Day strip, Wright was also a painter and illustrator of glamorous women who exuded style and hauteur in an era when such qualities were at a premium.


Our next feature is a look at the life and art of Cecil Doughty, whose historical illustrations graced many a children's periodical over a career spanning over half a century.


Other features include a look at the animal artistry of Raymond Sheppard...


... and David Roach takes a look at the outstanding work of Renato Fratini...


... as well as a piece by John Watkiss, describing how he goes about creating concept art for The Walking Dead.


You can order illustrators magazine at illustratorsquarterly.com


  1. Kerry9:57 PM

    I was really excited to see this new resource. The content here looks absolutely lovely, but that logo made me do a double-take.

    I hope the team can rethink the logotype because frankly, I would not buy this based on the cover. The logo just doesn't seem to be on par with the quality of the work you're showcasing.

    I'm sure you guys know a wealth of illustrators and designers who could help create a more professional look. In the meantime, thanks for all the hard work that you've put into this project. Can't wait to read and share more.

  2. With regard to your comment on our logo Kerry, we did spend a lot of time on this particular element of the project and we did have submissions from illustrators and designers, all of who are passionate about their craft and have spent many years refining their skills.

    We then tested the results on a number of respondents and the one that was chosen was the one you see before you.

    The most frequent comment leveled at the ones that didn't make the grade was that they were difficult to decipher and somewhat forgettable while the one that was chosen, despite the imperfections that are evidently manifesting themselves to you, was adjudged to be much punchier.

    But we would be more than happy to hear further from you as to how you feel this logo could be improved.