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The project was the launch issue of Little Atoms magazine, the first print iteration of a long-running podcast. As a podcast, Little Atoms did not have a strong visual identity, so it was important to examine the space in which the programme functioned and take visual clues from content. The client, 89up Ltd, wanted to:

"[C]reate a compact title for big thinkers on limited funds from the transcripts of the Little Atoms podcast and essays commissioned exclusively for our website. It should retain the essence and focus of all our other media channels.

"The design should pitch somewhere between the thinking editorials of the Economist and the Spectator and the culturally savvy independents of the Gentlewomen and The Gourmand. The design team must never lose site of the fact that words are King."

The interviews and articles in the magazine stretched to 5,000 words plus, so it was crucial that the text be simple and clear, but the layout needed to also accommodate a centre spread of artwork by Jonathan Meades, and also photo essays by foreign correspondents Lynsey Addario and Fergal Keane.

Working with the editorial team, we identified visual cues for the content including UK political posters, science and technology magazines of the fifties and sixties, US literary journals, brutalist architecture, and the constructivist design approaches of Eastern Europe circa twenties and thirties.

The cover illustration and section openers were provided by Jean Jullien, whose values closely matched those of Little Atoms. Shortly after the launch of Little Atoms magazine, Jean Jullien's Peace For Paris symbol encapsulated many people's reaction to the Paris attacks of November 2015 - a fitting symmetry, given that the Little Atoms radio programme had been established in the wake of the July 2005 London bombings.

The magazine has been highly praised by Steven Heller of Printmag, Jeremy Leslie of Magculture and others. It is available in shops including Waterstones, Foyles, Shakespeare and Co in Paris and Chandal in Barcelona.

Date created: October 2015 2015-10-01T00:00:00+0100
Date published: 12 February 2016 2016-02-12T13:05:52+0000

MADEIT CREDITS

  • Padraig ReidyClient
Annual 2016 WinnerLittle Atoms magazine launch issuePublishing Project featured: on 15th February 2016

Little Atoms magazine launch issue

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