Redesigns are always an exciting – and slightly daunting – moment for magazines, particularly when your title is read by so many designers. But magazines never sit still.
In January 2015 we began a process of repositioning CR to take in a wider view of the creative industries. We wanted CR to be the place that brings together creative directors – or artistic or design directors – and their teams, wherever they may be, in whatever creative sector. And we wanted our readers to be inspired by creative practice and processes from fields other than their own. This redesign of the magazine and our wider identity is the latest step in that ongoing process (and will soon be complemented by a new website).
A new front section includes all your favourite CR columnists plus a major review of the Willem Sandberg show at the De La Warr Pavilion by Rick Poynor.
This issue also introduces a new strand of content aimed at those who lead, and aspire to lead, creative teams, departments and businesses. In the creative industries, career progress typically results from skill as a practitioner. But a great designer does not necessarily make a great design director: a great performer, does not necessarily make a great artistic director. Many creative people find themselves running a team when they have had little training for any kind of management role. Our new, dedicated Creative Leaders section will support creative people in leadership roles, providing opportunities for them to learn from each other, share their processes and benefit from expert opinion and insight.
To launch our focus on this area, this issue presents our first Creative Leaders 50, in partnership with Workfront. We have selected 50 UK-based creative leaders (we’ll extend it overseas next year) who we feel are making a significant contribution to driving creativity forward. Over the coming months, we will be picking their brains for insights, advice and opinion, in print, online and a series of live events.
Full details of the 50 can be found on our dedicated Creative Leaders 50 website here.
And, yes, we have a new logo. It was drawn for us by Robert Holmkvist of Essen International using Schear Grotesk, the bespoke typeface that he has created for our use. In all our discussions over the past year about the future of CR, how we wanted to broaden our remit to bring together the different creative industries, without abandoning our heartland of visual communications, and particularly around our new focus on creative leaders, it quickly became apparent that the existing identity would not fit the bill. Why? These things are always subjective but, in the light of where we are taking CR, it just felt too rooted in craft, too much about the how rather than the why, casting too much of an emphasis on just one aspect of what we are about. That’s not to say we are abandoning craft – how things are made will always be an important part of what we cover, but this is about emphasis.
Why does the new one feel right? Strategically, we wanted something that could allow us to talk to new audiences with a promise of quality, depth and intelligence. As all of you who do work in this area will know so well, it’s always difficult to put something out in the world that is meant to encapsulate where a brand seeks to be in the future as opposed to where it is now – people react based on what they know of the brand and what it means to them now rather than what you hope they will be feeling some time hence. But for where we want CR to be in the next few years, the tone and sensibility of this new logo and wider visual language just felt right.
On a practical note, it also enables us to write our name out in full in a very compact way and reintroduces the square, which is such a well-known part of our brand.
This is the white out of black version of the basic lock-up. As can be seen from the cover image show top, in print this can be extended to incorporate cover lines and other information on covers, and can be ‘hung’ from the top edge. It can also work in various colourways.
This boxed version will be used online where the outer edge recalls our square.
And, as before, we have an initialised version to use on social media and other digital platforms at small sizes.
This is the first stage in a major overhaul of CR. Watch out for our new website, which will fully incorporate our new visual language, coming soon.
Our new Creative Leaders initiative is also introduced in the June 2016 issue, out now. Order your copy here.