For one week only: access the CR archive for free!

Running from today until May 31, all readers can access the Creative Review archive entirely for free, where you can browse over 400 issues of the magazine, stretching back to 1980

Normally reserved for subscribers only, for this week we are opening our archive up to all readers, offering the opportunity for you to take a deep dive into the history of the commercial creative industries over the past 40 years.

Perhaps you might spend your time looking back at how we have covered major brands or companies over the years, whether that be enduring creative brands such as Nike or Coca-Cola, or the industry’s most creative agencies and studios, including Wieden + Kennedy or Pentagram. The latter appeared in the mag as far back as the summer of 1980 in an article that carried the immortal opening line: “Pentagram is an arrogant design group, as its partners readily admit.”

Article on Coca-Cola from the July 2011 issue
Nike story from April 1999
Pentagram in the Summer 1980 issue of CR

You can find masses of interviews with leading designers and creatives from over the decades.

These include insights from countless inspiring figures from Irma Boom to Hattie Stewart, Tyler Mitchell to the legendary designer Ken Garland, who passed away last week.

Designer Irma Boom interviewed in December 2011
Tyler Mitchell interview featured in the June/July 2020 issue of CR
Hattie Stewart interview from July 2018
Ken Garland interviewed by Mark Sinclair in the February 2013 issue

If awards are your thing, you have almost two decades worth of Creative Review Annual issues to peruse, plus countless Photography Annuals, and the odd Illustration Annual and Type Annual too.

These issues offer perhaps the strongest barometers of the fashions that have come and gone in the commercial creative industries over the years.

Opening spread of the first ever CR Annual issue in April 2003
Cover of the 2021 CR Annual

The archive can also be a good place to follow the wider trends that have emerged over the years, as the industry has grabbled with questions of diversity and inclusion, as well as its complex relationship with clients.

Often these questions, which are still so pertinent today, stretch back far further than might be thought.

Article on the presentation of women in advertising from May 1997
David Abbott on clients in the July 1982 issue of CR

And if you’re just after a fun browse, there are certainly plenty of hours to be lost in the archive, as you search for yourself, your friends, your company, your enemies…

Even just looking at how the ads that were placed in the mag have changed over the decades can prove entertaining and illuminating (trust me, some of the ones from the 80s are shocking).

Ad for the Power Macintosh G3 in the April 1999 issue of CR
Eye-catching ad for Corbis featured in the April 2003 issue

So don’t miss out on this opportunity to have a romp through the CR archive for free this week, before we lock it back up for subscribers only on May 31.

JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Milton Keynes