With Huck and Little White Lies magazines both part of The Church of London stable, it’s a tradition that the covers of last two issues of the year have a visual relationship to one another. This year the link between them is that divisive figure of graphic design, David Carson…
For the Jan/Feb 2011 cover of film title Little White Lies, the magazine’s creative director Paul Willoughby sketched the film’s lead, Natalie Portman, and passed the drawing (and LWL cover furniture) across to Carson, the brief being that he would craft something in response.
The result sees some black foiled type spread over the whole cover; an unusual take for the magazine, where the ‘issue’ title usually plays second fiddle to the main illustration. Despite a $ made from the clash of “s” and “H”, I rather like the fact that with a portrait of a face as obviously magazine-friendly as Portman’s, the type directly subverts the image, the ruffled feathers almost echoing the violent placement of the letters.
For Huck, Carson applied a more recognisable typographic style, working with the magazine’s creative director, Rob Longworth. Disruption seems to be the order of the day here, however, with Oskar Enender’s photograph of a lone snowboader adorned with a skewed barcode and a conspicuously ‘undesigned’ type treatment at the bottom.
While I can take or leave the rather forced Carson© treatment of the bottom section, the masthead is much more interesting; different enough to catch your eye, but still recognisably Huck.
Last year Geoff McFetridge brought the two issues together using a single illustration in an excellent Where the Wild Things Are tribute. It revealed it’s full charm when the titles were displayed together on the magazine rack (see the CR blog post on the work, here).
In having the designer himself as the link between the covers, however, the connection between the issues is much more subtle. But will that mean there’s more room for each one to stand out?