Financial Times: FT Weekend Magazine covers

Art director Shannon Gibson’s relaunch of the FT Weekend Magazine has featured a series of stunning cover designs. These are a Winner in the Editorial category

In April last year, FT Weekend Magazine relaunched with an improved structure and design. Led by art director Shannon Gibson, nearly every aspect of the magazine was reworked visually – from the purpose of print covers in a digital world, to the impact of its quarterly special issues. Aside from a bolder use of typography, new sections and a more considered use of imagery, one of the biggest shifts was the magazine’s covers.

Since the relaunch, FT Weekend Magazine’s covers have become a key tool in announcing its “renewed journalistic and creative ambition”.

So far, this has seen an array of approaches, including a cinematic interpretation of MI6’s top female spies captured by London-based photographer Eliza Bourner; animal portrait photographer Gerrard Gethings’ simple but effective image of a pig called Grape; and Michal Chelbin’s powerful and intimate images of Ukrainian refugees, accompanied by their stories of fleeing to Poland.

FT weekend

Away from photography, the creative team has also embraced hand-drawn typography as part of a summer food issue; illustration in the form of Liana Finck’s four-panel comic cover inspired by gentle parenting; and Eiko Ojala’s incredible overnight creation of the Queen’s memorial cover in monochrome papercut.

This deft mix of commissioning and internal creative talent has been strengthened by the design team’s process of experimenting with their own headline ideas and writing standfirsts to get to the depths of a magazine story. The result is a richer publication, with the team saying plainly: “If we don’t have a strong visual package for a story, we don’t have a story. If we don’t have a story, we don’t have a magazine.”

Financial Times: FT Weekend Magazine covers
Winner: Editorial
Entrant: Financial Times
Editors: Matt Vella, Esther Bintliff, Neil O’Sullivan
Art Director: Shannon Gibson
Director of Photography: Emma Bowkett
Associate Art Director: Brian Saffer
Photo Editor: Josh Lustig
Photography: Benjamin McMahon, Michal Chelbin, Gerrard Gethings, Carmen Palma, Eliza Bourner
Typographic Illustration: Raissa Pardini
Illustration: Eiko Ojala, Mel Haasch