CR April issue: redesign

Creative Review has been redesigned with a new size, new paper, new typography and, yes, a new logo

CR’s April cover. Illustration: Anthony Burrill

Creative Review has been redesigned with a new size, new paper, new typography and, yes, a new logo


Last month we celebrated our 30th birthday. It seemed the perfect moment to reinvent the magazine if we wanted to ensure its continued success over the next three decades.

There are two specific aims for the redesign: to create a better physical product and to get across the repositioning of our editorial stance that has been developing over the past two years.

Our website has been a fantastic success, bringing us hundreds of thousands of new readers from all over the world. But, inevitably, it raises questions over the printed magazine.

Print as filter: the new Grid spread brings together a month in images, from galleries, books and the web, as researched by the CR team

We knew that we needed to make the printed magazine even more distinct from the website. It had to be more tactile, more of a joy to handle, better quality. But finding the resources to do that is not easy in the face of a recession that has affected advertising, and therefore paginations and revenues, so badly.

We discovered that changes to the Royal Mail’s pricing structure meant that, by reducing the size of the magazine slightly to 250mm square we could save money. Which is all fine but not worth doing if the smaller format doesn’t feel right. So we had some old copies of the magazine cut down to the new size and found that it really worked. It felt good in the hand.

Then, we thought, what if we took the money that we would save from the size reduction and put it (and more) into the paper stocks. So instead of 90 gsm, the text pages are now on 135 gsm with Crit on 115 gsm uncoated. Instead of 250gsm, the coverstoack is now 300gsm. The thickest, best paper CR has never been on. Despite the mail cost saving, we are now spending more money per month on the production of the magazine, but we believe that our readers will appreciate the result – the pictures here don’t do it justice. You have to pick up a copy to really appreciate what a difference the new paper makes..

What’s On page from the front section

So we felt happy that new format and paper stock could deliver on our first requirement. The second involved some design changes.

Over the last two years, in response both to our readers’ wishes and the impact of the internet, the magazine has become less about simply displaying work and more about discussing that work. More than a year and a half ago, we dropped the 12-page Work section that displayed new projects with short captions and replaced it with an expanded Crit section of discussion and reviews. We wanted the design to reflect that CR is not simply a showcase magazine. We will show you great work, but we will also have something to say.

The new logo gives us more of a personality and much more of a presence on the newsstand (where up to half of our sales come from). Yes, the old logo worked well but it didn’t articulate what we wanted to get across about CR. It’s about recognising that the magazine is not just a blank canvas but the home of varied and strong opinions, whether from regular CR columnists, from those in the industry or from our Readers’ Panel.

Great images. Big: the new Hi-Res section

But that doesn’t mean we won’t be displaying great images. Our new sections The Grid and Hi-Res aim to deliver the visual hit that only print can bring. (Yes, we know The Guardian does something similar but it really should be a feature of CR too).

Features maintain a neutral stance, presenting the work without the design getting in the way (as we have always believed is right) and using Theinhardt, a new grotesk from Optimo, as the main display face. Each month we will present a case study of a new project which talks through the process and then asks a selection of industry figures to comment on the result (this month’s looks at Research Studios’ work for the BBC).

And a profile piece will showcase the career of a major figure, in this case, David James.

Other features this month include this extract from Eliza Williams’ new book This Is Advertising

The more opinionated stance of Crit is suggested by uncoated paper stock and the use of the more expressive typeface, Dala Floda, designed by Paul Barnes, which is also used in the logo. Dala Floda has its roots in tradition but feels contemporary and a little quirky – which seemd like a pretty neat fit with what we are trying to achieve for the magazine.

The redesign was done by our art director, Paul Pensom, but Paul Barnes worked with us a consultant on the typography, advising us on typeface choices, page furniture and the logo. For drop caps and other ornaments, we have used characters from a new project of his involving the revival and digitisation of the St Bride type archive (more on this in a later post). We’ve just used Caslon Shaded but there will be a lot more faces available in the future.

We hope that you enjoy the new-look Creative Review. It’s out on March 24.


Cover: Claro 300gsm
Text pages: Galerie Art Matt 135gsm
Crit: Festival Offset 115gsm.
Supplied by James McNaughton

Text: Lyon, designed by Kai Bernau, available from Commercial Type.
Logo, small headlines: Dala Floda, designed by Paul Barnes.
Display: Theinhardt, designed by François Rappo, available from Optimo.
Ornaments, drop caps etc: Caslon Shaded, revived by Paul Barnes for the St Bride Type Foundry.


  • loving the new look!! well done on an excellent rebrand! will have a closer gander upon release tomo. Keep up the good stuff!

  • Spreads look great, not too sure about the log though.

  • Simon Goss

    I thought I was loooking at the forst edition from 30 years ago…

  • Looks great. The rationale behind the redesign makes perfect sense too. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

  • Really looking forward to getting my hands on this, but early signs I like; nice and neat layout, and the big images look great.

  • Thoughtful

    Great job. Love that cover.

  • I am displaying a feverish animation in the anticipation of placing my clammy, excited hands on a copy. My eyes are delighted with everything I see before me here. I especially love the cover, with a design reminiscent from the recent past. It is also pleasing to hear you positively talking about another thirty years of Creative Review. My world wouldn’t be the same place without it.

  • Love the new look. A fantastic step in the right direction for CR. Keep it up!

  • Looks great! Modern, professional and stylish. I like. Drop the divider lines you insist on placing in every available white space and I’d be even happier.. but maybe I’ll reconsider after seeing it in print.

  • dave

    Not entirely sure what to make of new layout and logo. Don’t think the logo looks fresher than the last, it almost looks dated already. Is the layout as visually stimulating as before? High res section does look wicked!

    Perhaps having a read of it for real will change my mind.

    If the guardian did a creative magazine, this is what it would look like.

  • I’m liking it, but I’ll have to get a hold of one to get that tactile feeling you so lovingly describe. Who knows maybe I’ll even take out a subscription rather than rely on the Uni library.

  • I’m really excited to see it. will miss the cr logo though!

  • Love it! Very nice. I do think your branding is taking a step back without the iconic CR.

  • ntlk

    Love it, very classy. Can’t wait to see it in my hands. It looks almost vintage, yet modern and nicely understated at the same time.

  • Very nice! Sad the old recognisable logo has gone though.

  • I really liked the old one.. provided lots of room for the scope of the cover.. so, with that in mind any new logo has a tough job.
    Like one or tow of the previous posters I thought it looked a bit retro.. but that’s not necessarily a bad thing..
    So, it didn’t knock me over but maybe a grower…

  • Rob

    The spreads look incredible, not so sure on the new logotype though.

    The previous logo worked well because it was impartial and didn’t overtly influence the cover.

    Looking forward to receiving my copy.

  • Regarding the change in size.. is it just me, but as much as I love print (and I ‘really’ love print..) I do feel that it needs to be justified these days.. so for this reason, i’ve always been happy to read the work copy of CR rather than buy my own.
    So, with your reasoning accepted, I still question the odd sizes, extra weight.. or am I being a bit of a tree-hugger..?

  • Spreads and overall re-design looks great, but I must admit, I do feel a little sad not seeing the iconic CR logo on there…

    I love you little Capital C and R and your black box. You will be missed :(

  • Loverly. Nice colours and beautiful title font. Agree with Fredrik on all those divider lines though.

  • Mark

    Like the new layout – and pathetically excited about getting my hands on the new stock.

    But It’ll be interesting to see how the new logo will work with more contemporary images on the front cover. Seems like Anthony Burrill’s cover is a bit too convenient a fit.

  • I can’t wait to get hold of a copy! It’s gonna make my day!

  • PlanA

    The spread looks great, but the logo… well, it feels like you’re going backwards in time, not forwards.

  • Really dislike the new logo. It is not that it is bad, it is that it will never live up to the iconic black box that is immediately recognisable.
    I think changing it was a mistake.
    Other than that the rest looks perfect.

  • Nick Button

    A change was certainly in order. First impression? The logo has a retro feel – this type of approach rarely produces a ‘timeless’ logo with any mileage.

    Perhaps it will grow on me?

  • Quite like the new logo, quite a bold move moving away from the previous icon.
    Cover image works really well with the new logo, it will be interesting to see how it works with more contemporary images

  • I love it.

  • Ian

    April Fool’s joke perhaps?

  • Ben

    I will reserve judgment until I actually see a copy, but that logo really seems like a mistake. The old one maybe a bit characterless, but it worked with anything and let the cover content really speak. I don’t think this one will. As for the layout; it looks okay, nothing mind blowing, and some of the pages seem to have about 6 different type treatments on them, bit excessive. And there is far too much centered text all round.

  • Macroskopp

    Like the grid, layout overall.
    Suspect the logo/masthead and interior type scheme might have a little too much personality to ‘play well with others’… Could get old very quickly.

  • Absolutely Gorgeous- The redesign has brought a new
    warmth and charm to the pages of Creative Review.
    Looking forward to getting a copy!

  • A6

    Perhaps you could make the logo bigger?

  • Really not sure about about the new masthead at all. I agree with previous comments that it looks dated and doesn’t seem to reflect the modern approach that the previous iteration did.

    I’ll hold off making any comments on the layouts until I see the magazine in the flesh. I really am very pleased that you focussed on better paper though – A very good idea indeed.

  • Very interesting. I’ll have to pick up a copy, because as you say — the photos don’t do it justice.
    Surprised (well, not really) that CR stayed with the square format. When you announced the redesign and change of format last month I expected you’d ditch the square size for something else. But then again the square has been so characteristic of CR that it would have been foolish to change it…

  • ruthlessrufus

    Love the new grid layout, love the large images. Please don’t change the logo, can’t you just funk up the old one, new one looks a bit funny and older then the original.

  • Not sure about the logo, it’s nice but it doesn’t really sum up what the magazine is about.

  • The only thing I don’t like is the new logo, it’s a bold move, but it’s not as strong as the previous version. The previous version was ideal for modern contexts which are increasing in importance and seem to require a logo that functions when situated in a small square space such as a website favicon, iphone app icon or a twitter profile pic ect. The other issue I have with the new logo is that it doesn’t seem to represent the magazine well, retro design is quite a trend at the moment but the magazine doesn’t exclusively focus on retro design but rather current creative projects.

  • LOVE IT, bold, brave, new..

  • I agree with previous comments, interior pages and overall layout looks great but please save the CR logo.

  • Jonathan

    Looking good. I do agree with the previous comments about the logo though. Also no mention of the beautiful Monograph, is it still being produced?

    And centred type? Really not sure about that one.

  • Humm, I’m not sure about this new logotype, it’s some 1970s post-hippie blobbyness. It’s inches away from a drop-shadow and swashes, with amber-tinted vignetted photos and big frizzy hair on freckled azure eyed girls in knitwear and flares.

    Really did prefer the old box thing, I really feel it’s a missed opportunity to do something fully distinctive. Since review is about seeing again, I’d have done something pointillistic made of loads and loads of eyes.

    Layout… well that’s neat ‘n’ all… oh here’s the drop shadow I suspected… drop caps, not happy about that. It’s not a medieval publication, and the drop caps aren’t illustrative. One could argue that they’re a waste of space.


    I think the realignment of the publication & editorial sectioning as distinct from web communications is obvious but healthy. Well done.


    Still looks nowhere near as good as high end layout from pre-computer days, though.

  • PerceeP

    I’m loving the overall look within, the images look great. But as much as I love the retro logo, the CR box has always been iconic, instantly recognisable and simple. Why change it? Still it would be interesting to read the reaction if had been merely tinkered too…

  • N

    Ironically I’d say the logo now has less personality, but maybe that’s just me. I assume that the monograph will remain unchanged?

  • Well I love it. And I hope it isn’t an April Fool’s joke as I initially suspected.

  • Marko

    That new logo needs some serious k er nin g….

  • Funny how brazen styles from the past can be recycled as a modern classic. I am always looking to be challenged by design but there are element of this that just don’t work for me. But that probably just me showing my age.

  • Love the inner spreads, cover looks very retro, but I’m a huge fan of 70’s porn!

  • Becky

    How does the new logo translate to web? Will it translate to web?

  • steve casquero

    Firstly i cannot see how so many people get so excited and become overly complementary over a couple of small web images when the whole project has been designed as something you hold in you hand. likewise, people who have already taken a dislike to it when they haven’t turned a single page and seen it up close to comment on the new subtle typography/grid etc.

    think it was the right decision to be brave and move away from the old logo (nothing lives forever) but i just wonder if the new logo seems a bit fadish and agree with people who think it does not poses that timeless quality. won’t last as long as the old one for sure but with rebrands coming around more often, maybe it was better to live in the moment.

    be great to see the creative review covert folder of near misses for the logo though!

  • This is a joke right? Centred type? As for the logo?

  • I really like the new retro style logo and the new format size for the pages is really nice too. Looking forward to getting hold of the new design soon!

  • JulieG

    I love the inside spreads, I’m not sure that the new masthead has the distinctiveness to last another 30 years, I think it’s very trendy and ‘for the moment’. Watch this space I guess… ps does heavier paper, mean heavier product, mean Royal Mail charge by weight AND what’s the subscription going up to?

  • Very nice. Now hopefully my Postman won’t find it so big that he decides to shred it through my letterbox!

  • Guy

    Great new size, great new layout and the paper stock all sounds good, so I look forward to having it in hand.

    But… PLEASE scrap the new logotype.

    Your original CR logo is far superior, more neutral, bolder and way more timeless and future-proof and helps the cover art to speak for itself. In contrast, I think the new logo looks very much like it’s trying too hard and is a style that will date rapidly, even if it looks pretty nice right now.

    Thinking about it more, and baring in mind the other comments made to date, I think the best solution would be to carefully tweak the existing CR logo to keep the branding just as iconic and recognisable but still freshening it up, refining it and making it even bolder. Or just leave it as it was as it was fine.

    There is no point in scrapping something of a legacy just to try to look cool in the short term, sorry if that sounds harsh! : )

  • Mickrock

    Sorry about this, but I have a great collection of design Books and magazines from the 60’s and 70’s and your new ‘redesign’ will fit nicely in there.

    There are some nice new typographic treatments and some great looking photo spreads, but all those boxes and rules, look like someone’s gone mad with ruling tape.

    and I sure would have liked to have been at the table when Serif typefaces were discussed.

    Now all I have to do is be patient and hold it my hands, I’ll have a better review for you then.

  • Loverly. Nice colours and beautiful title font. Agree with Fredrik on all those divider lines though.

  • Not sure about the logo, it’s nice but it doesn’t really sum up what the magazine is about.

  • Michael

    I hope the content out weighs the adverts. I’m aware that ad’s pay the wages but sometimes you’re having a laugh

  • John Snad

    that is horrible, hopefully just a monthly measure, the logo ilooks so unprofessional and what happened to the innovative covers, Looks like it was done on Paint around 20 years ago


  • hmm not sure about this one. it seems like you are going back to the early CR issues, most significantly with the logotype.

    i sense a little bit to much nostalgia arose in the last anniversary issue and it possibly shaped the redesign a bit to much?

    looking forward to my copy however, to see it up close.

  • Brave move on the cover. Very retro masthead – so interesting to see how quickly it dates. But brings me back to a time of craftsmanship – so not complaining.

    I’m pleased to see the design doesn’t get in the way of the work showcased.

    The true test will be when I feel and smell it tomorrow.

  • loving the new look!! well done on an excellent rebrand! will have a closer gander upon release tomo. Keep up the good stuff!

  • Harmesh

    Beautiful cover art, although I agree with many of the comments regarding the logo, it will age very quickly. The centre aligned type for the body copy looks just awful, please see sense on this matter, it’s not innovative it makes the page look amateurish. Overall decent job, but I can see a logo redesign already on the horizon.

  • loving the design of this place. Really great.

    Good job on the cover art. Not sure about the logo though.

  • I’m looking forward to seeing this in print. The rationale behind it all seems sound. Some of these shots give me the impression that it looks like more of a sunday newspaper supplement than a specialist design title in terms of styling. Also, the logotype, while very nice visually, appears very retro for a cutting edge mag (I love retro but find it incongruous here), though I will reserve judgement on it all until I have rubbed the paper, smelled the inks and seen the details.

    Great news about the reduced size – I’ve always felt the old format was just a tiny bit too large for comfort. I guess the new format will be about perfectly sized, but since you moved away from the square logo which was such a big part of your identity, I wonder if you really need to stay tied to the square page format?

    Good luck with it though – print will never die. at least not in my house :o)

  • Billy Swanson

    new logo blows, sometimes you can meddle too much

  • very nice grid and cover
    daring format
    i’m not the biggest fan of the logo tough
    all the luck

  • JC

    I miss the old logo already. ;-( Spreads look great though. Doesn’t the logo remind you of similar publications from the 80’s?

  • Love the new logo, typography, and overall look/feel. I wasn’t wild about a square book before, and I’m still not liking that proportion now. I’ve always found square books to feel awkward and sometimes wasteful, but that might just be my personal peccadillo.

    All around, bravo.

  • John Sherwood

    Certain retro Guardian feel about this, classic looking spreads, get the sleeves rolled up on your jacket Crocket!

  • erik spiekermann

    Haven’t seen the magazine in the flesh yet, but the last 2 fonts i bought were Lyon and Theinhardt!

  • Tony Clarkson

    Thought it was a back issue from the 70’s

  • The Street

    April 2006 – 94 pages – £5.50
    April 2009 – 76 pages – £5.70

    April 2010 – probably less pages – £5.90
    and it looks out of date already.

    Boo :-(

  • Very retro, looks like CR has gone full circle.

  • Stuart

    A CR April fools joke maybe?

  • Like the square format. The cover design… not sure.

  • LOVE IT, bold, brave, new..

  • MacUser did a great article on their redesign many years ago. I almost immediately lost my copy and by the time I checked the back issues were sold out. They don’t have access to an on-line version of that article either. I was going to use it with my students.

    Any chance of you guys doing an article focussing on the design process you went through that would be of use to students giving them insight into the serious workings underpinning layout design?

    Or alternatively, does anyone know of on-line good examples of that process having taken place? I’ve not found any good ones as yet.

    The Guardian had one up for a while but they took these pages down. The transience of supposed permanent once out there digital media. Print scores sometimes. I still have many back copies of CR and Graphis.

  • I’m loving it. I like the old version, but this is a really good move. Very brave. Will go out and buy a copy.

  • Logo is dated already, please go back to the old one. As another comment reads – you can meddle too much. By trying to push boundaries and advance an already superb logo, you’ve ended up going backwards.

    Another issue I have with the new CR is – why not save paper by keeping the stock you had?! I’m sure no reader had an issue with this anyway. This would also allow you to pass on a slight saving to us readers…

  • J Williams

    Not too sure what the point of saving money on Royal Mail postage on the one hand and then spending the saving (and more) on production costs. Seems counter productive and especially so since we are currently in an economic crisis. Who’s got money to burn?
    Also not sure the new logo really works; looks dated; the thin areas on the type don’t hold up visually and overall creates a weaker look. In terms of lasting 30 years I think it’ll struggle.

  • ilovedogfood

    Looks nice, if a little Observer mag.

    I wonder Patrick, why didn’t you get one of your favourites to design the cover?
    Farrow – let’s put some squares together and make a tick – Genius!, or
    Alex Bec – your new golden child – or
    Peter Saville, the man who didn’t even design the “There are no prostitutes here” sticker, yet you nominated it for the BIDOTY 2009

    You have too many good mates in high positions. It’s time you stepped down.

  • Gerry Arcari

    Love the new look and feel. Much more becoming of CR. I would love to see the rationale and brand story behind the logo. Could you please enlighten us – i am assuming it was not a process purely driven by design? Can’t wait to get my first copy in the post…well done guys.
    Gerry Arcari

  • Mr X

    Nothing groundbreaking or original here. Come on CR, you can do better.

  • I’m liking these spreads and the new format and stock sounds nice. I’m not sold on the masthead letterform though, it looks a bit awkward in places and very of the moment. Like all things though maybe ongoing familiarity with it will reveal its strengths and personality. The shock of the new and all that, what what.

  • “That new logo needs some serious k er nin g….
    2010-03-23 12:53:47”

    Hahaha. Did you get your Porsche fixed yet Marko?

    ; )

  • Looks great, indeed.

  • christopher

    I look forward to seeing it, when it eventually arrives that is. Why do overseas subscriptions take so long to be delivered, I subscribed in December and thus far only received one issue :-(

  • Like it, as a retro one off!
    But moving forward, it looks dated already, too stylised for the task!
    Reminds me of the Guardian Newspaper redesign, don’t know why!

  • Mat

    April 2006 – 94 pages – £5.50
    April 2009 – 76 pages – £5.70
    April 2010 – probably less pages – £5.90

    The Street

    Spot on! Got mine today, 74 pages – £5.90

  • PatrickBurgoyne

    No, it’s 76 pages. In magazine pagination the inside back and outside back also count, as do front cover and inside front – that’s why the contents page is numbered 3

  • I really love it. The size, paper and design throughout. I shall reserve judgement on the logo until I have seen it over a few different images and designs…

  • John

    April 2006 – 94 pages – £5.50
    April 2009 – 76 pages – £5.70
    April 2010 – 76 pages + more trees cut down than ever before – £5.90

    …unbelievable, and not in a good way.

  • Andrea

    Not a fan of the new logotype either. Sorry.

    I agree with Billy Swanson: Sometimes you can meddle too much.

  • M

    A lot of affection here for the old logo… but personally i always thought the old CR logo was pretty weak. looked clunky. I guess ppl are so used to it that they grow fond of it. The new logo has more character and stood out on the magazine shelf when I was casually browsing. Hopefully the cover images will continue to be effective companions to it.
    For the first time since I’ve known it the mag looks like it’s been designed by a designer rather than somone going thru a desktop publishing tutorial. Feels better in the hand. One thing that surprised me was the small point size of body copy. But if if means more content then it’s all good.

  • M

    …although I agree with an earlier comment that you do seem to be using too many font styles. The bold sans in particular looks like a throwback. And the big letters that begin paragraphs (I forget what they’re called ) look a bit gimmicky

  • Geoff Griffiths

    Pretty retro logo if I may say!

  • aa

    bye bye Farnham!

    also agree on the very retro logo.

  • works for me, much more buoyant than before – consider myself re-subscribed!

  • David

    Sorry but it doesn’t do anything for me.

    Dated logo, bland spreads… looks boring and something that’s been done a thousand times before.

  • Now my girlfriend isn’t the only one to have a copy of their favourite magazine in a convenient hand-bag sized format (Not that I carry my copy in a hand-bag).

    I like the spreads but the new mast head is some what lacking the punch of its predecessor. Is this why it still hasn’t appeared on the web site and cover of monograph?

  • Simon

    Oops just seen monograph in the flesh, partly integrated on monograph but still retaining the square, I think this works better than the full page title.

  • Like the redesign in all aspects except for logo typeface, ugly!

    Paul Morton, Hot Frog Graphics.

  • Love it! New logo works really well on twitter feed too…

  • Jasper

    Sad to say – not a big fan and agree with the comment about it looking like the first issue printed 30 years ago.

    Maybe it’s a sign of the times (or my age) but I feel like the hamster wheel keeps turning and the ‘re-visioning’ of the past is getting tired. Where’s the future visionaries?

  • Dave

    Thicker stock, is that because the content is reducing?

    It does look like a copy from the early 70’s, not sophisticated enough for my liking

  • NBR

    Sorry, it’s awful. I am truly depressed.

  • Chris L

    Milton Glaser anyone?… cover has a very 70’s feel to it.

    Will reserve judgement till a few issues have come and gone but the vibes feel positive at the moment. Hell I might even re-subscribe!!!!

    But lets face it…. if half the people on here love it then I reckon that’s a ‘win’ for the design team. They’ll never please everybody and a bland re-design that generated indifference would have been the worst possible outcome.

  • ryno

    LOVE the new logo and the retro tone and manner, really resonates with me…..great job guys, look forward to seeing the april issue in print…we get them a little late here in South Africa :)

  • do not like it :(

  • Jasper (2010-03-30 17:28:47), I couldn’t agree more.

    Creative Review has a bigger responsibility to offer ideas of what’s happening next in terms of content and in terms of design.

    It is a monumental shame that Creative Review exits the first decade of the the new millennium with such a retro logo and a re-design which doesn’t offer anything new. My studio has just finished the design of the first Vogue Turkey where we pushed the limits of what a Vogue can look and feel like. For instance for one of the fonts we worked with Max and Ian from BP Font Foundry to develop their already beautiful Sang Bleu family. Although we didn’t play with the intricacies of the font we did revamp the “graphic design” elements of the font by playing with the spacings, the heights of the capital letters, and the overall heights. What’s great about all the people that we work with for this Vogue is that they are all interested in what’s next. Vogue comes with quite a lot of baggage in terms of the brand and the love of its heritage. But a big part of the heritage is that Vogue always champions the ‘New’. I don’t see anything new in the Creative Review re-design

    In more detail…

    The retro logo:
    I heard David Bailey recently say in an interview that we haven’t left the sixties. I think that it’s a fabulous observation. We are still obsessed with the anti establishment style and attitude, only that we only reference the style part and don’t act on the antiestablishment and attitude parts. Everyone and their cousin are wearing these silly little plimsole shoes these days as though they are on a yachting holiday with JFK in the French Riviera. But in actual fact they are in Old Street and it’s freezing and wet. Fashion is trying to move forward too but is stuck in the same place as the Creative Review redesign. I saw Hussein Chalyan’s recent show in Paris which, like most of his adversaries, was playing it safe and being wearable because the buyers are all affected by and affecting the recession. I feel that the next 5 years will see some great movements in fashion and design. We have the communication network in the internet which will facilitate and promote new ideas and movements. My point is that the new Creative Review logo’s retro feel is not aiding any forward movement in design.

    The re-design:
    The grid is still screaming out beyond the content and the layout and type borrow pretty much everything from recent big hitters in editorial design (namely Monocle, The Guardian, Fantastic Man, and I could go on). And so what about the new paper? Keep it printed on cheaper quality paper and keep the price down and pass it on to your reader with a reduction in cover price. Lastly, I see no linking of web design and editorial design. Your magazine should be reducing that gap but instead you offer nothing new.

    Out with the retro, borrowed, old and in with the NEW please.

    Andrew Foxall
    Creative Director at Foxall Associates

  • Not keen on the new logo at all. It may look better in print, but the digital rendering featured on this site looks awful. While I understand the reasoning for the change, it just feels wrong. The strap line doesn’t marry well with the new logotype either.

    A bit of constructive feedback about this site in general: the point size of the text is too small throughout, especially for a creative website with such gravitas. Case-in-point, I’m straining to see the text in this comment response window on a MacBook Pro at 1440×900. The 0.85em size is a far too small and seriously effects the usuability / user experience.

    The width of the site also baffles me – 950px? Strange that you have chosen not to go with a 960 or even 980 layout., both would fit within the average resolution of 1024px. A 980 layout would easily provide some extra space to help increase the text size.

  • I totally agree with Jamie RE: the .85em point size on the new site, I have no issue with using a 950 width, it’s a different look and I actually quite like the ‘berliner’ style.

    This text just isn’t rendering well, for such a bastian of design this text might be a step too far, it seriously impacts usability – I have 20:20 eyesight and a Benq monitor and the text is still making me strain.

  • Caroline Byford

    Love the spread but I really don’t like the new logo at all! Why mess with the iconic CR logo? And if your going to mess with it why create this horrible, lifeless, old looking logo. Only time will tell if this logo will last for decades to come but I doubt it. This is a huge step back and its sad to think I’ll never see the CR logo again.

  • Happy 30th birthday Creative Review!
    I havn’t had a chance to get my hands on a printed copy yet, I’m sure the new paper quality will be lovely. But I’m sorry I just can’t get past the logo design. I totally agree that it looks like a cover from the 70’s/80’s. Okay it works well the Anthony Burrill’s Illustration, but that particular illustration has a very retro feel. The old logo may have been simple but it was timeless. If it’s not broken, why fix it? :/

  • RDM UoP GComTypo Y1

    I hope the new logo is an April Fool…other than that, good effort.

    But THAT LOGO!!!! Ugh. Looks far too much like Cabinet’s logo, it doesn’t stand out, it’s dated, the beautiful black box and the sans serif typeface worked beautifully :( but fingers crossed you’re messing with us again, and by tomorrow you will have revealed that such an abomination could not exist :)

    Heres hoping.

  • Old F***rt

    Made me smile to see people getting excited about the Contemporary New Look for CR – don’t any of you remember the ’70s?

  • Old F***rt

    Made me smile to see people getting excited about the Contemporary New Look for CR – don’t any of you remember the ’70s?

    Ah! Now I get it – happy April 1st

  • Jc

    Just got my copy in the post. I’m sad. It doesn’t feel premium any more. I’m always so excited getting my copy in the post. But the new logo (is it a logo?) just doesn’t work, what was wrong wit the old iconic CR block?

    Also in terms of the grid we need more space in the gutters close to the spine. Can’t read some of the last column. Why the uncoated stock in Crit?

    Liking the heavier paper stock but is that it? After all this hype?

    I’ll see where we’re it’s at after a few more issues. And it won’t stack next to my old issues neatly…..

  • A

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Ill grow to accept it, coz thats what happens with logos no matter how shit they are, you see them over and over again until one day it just looks normal and the battle is lost and acceptance has won. But till then me no likey.

  • A

    …plus if it is the new logo, why would CR release the competition for the new illustration annual based on the old logo???
    I dont know what to believe anymore!

  • I think the last CR block logo is an institution and should have been kept. The new logo looks a bit trendy and whilst it may be cool now i’m not sure it will stand the test of time. I don’t think the new logo works within the minimal framework of this site either. This site design is continuation of the block logo design, from the menu through to Arial/Helvetica.

    The spreads do look good and the new format will fit in the letterbox without bending!

  • Having now perused an actual copy I must admit I love the new size.. still question it’s carbon footprint but it’s certainly less likely to get battered in the bag on the way home when I nick the office copy at the end of the month 😉
    And as much as I loved the box device on the previous logo.. it was introduced in 2005.. the way some folk are talking about it you’d think it was 30 years old as well. Keep moving I say..!
    Must say, I’m more inclined than ever to subscribe for my own copy but can’t justify the spend on something that, by it’s very nature, is out of date very, very quickly. Archiving..? well that’s what the web is for.. that and the annual, which does get kept year on year..

  • Simon C

    Love the new size. Much easier to hold and hopefully won’t get abused as much by the postman in transit.

    However, that masthead is terrible. Sort out the kerning and try to integrate the byline somehow, so it’s less distracting. As a previous commenter has said, I’ll be interested to see how it works with a more contemporary cover image, or are we going to be subject to endless 60’s wallpaper from now on? : )

  • Mickrock

    Just received my 30th Anniversary issue. And I have to say that I do not like the new Nameplate/Flag. Or are we calling it a Masthead. Unsure…
    It appears as though someone overexposed the PMT on the process camera…

    Bizarre, I’m having a Flashback. The stock house ads on pages 2, 7, 15 and 19 don’t help.

  • Karl

    The new size is nice, but the layout is awful and very dated already.
    For a magazine bringing a world of new creativity to readers, its a shame the printed version dosnt really follow this in its new design.

  • I have to say that aesthetic osmosis is taking shape and I’m beginning to like the new masthead typography a little more. Funny how these things have to mature in the mind’s eye. Its starting to feel like it’s Creative Review’s logo type now… like it belongs.

    I’m not saying I love it, but I’m saying I don’t come here and hate it with such ferocity as I did on day one.

    Still need to kern that f*cker though. Come on… KERN THE DAMN LETTERING ITS KILLING ME. MY EYES, MY EYES.

    * Sets fire to eyes.

  • Hah, just been reading the comments in response to the redesign you did earlier this year; quite amusing. Some good points made though,

    For what it’s worth now so late in the day though, I like it.

  • the comments in response to the redesign you did earlier this year; quite amusing. Some good