How our February cover was made

We’ve had a few people asking whether our February cover was done ‘for real’ or the result of Photoshop trickery. Illustrator Miles Donovan explains how he put it all together

We’ve had a few people asking whether our February cover was done ‘for real’ or the result of Photoshop trickery. Illustrator Miles Donovan explains how he did it

The February issue of Creative Review features our top 20 favourite slogans. We wanted a cover that could clearly allude to the content – which is obviously word-based – while still being visually strong. In April last year we ran a similar issue, but on logos rather than slogans. For that one, we commissioned Alex Trochut to look at working the visual style of the number one in the list (the Woolmark) into the idea of it being a top 20 list. He came up with this:

For the slogans issue, our art director Paul Pensom didn’t want to repeat the emphasis on the 20 and instead thought of trying to refer to all the slogans featured in our list. He asked copywriter Nick Asbury to come up with a ‘slogan of all the slogans’ incorporating everything in our list. It reads:

Keep calm and just do exactly what it says on every little finger lickin’ tin of beanz and pop because you’re never knowingly worth the parts other beers cannot think different with flowers are you the real thing we don’t care have a break make love not vorsprung durch fraternité or hate it and carry on.”

In their discussions, Paul and Nick came up with the idea of putting the words onto a series of either patches or badges. Paul thought illustrator Miles Donovan would be ideal to render this idea. He explains how he did it:

“The majority of the badges are so synonymous with an existing brand, product or identity that I couldn’t easily shy away design wise, others like ‘Finger Lickin’ or ‘Pop’ I felt there was more scope for interpretation.”

“Having designed each of the badges, for the ones I wanted to have more of a hand-made feel I printed out each layer of the design using a good old fax machine. It breaks up the crisp computer-generated lines and gives me more of handprinted mis-registered feel when they are stacked on top of each other once scanned into Photoshop.”

“The badges were made up at two different sizes (25mm & 30mm), the 25mm badges on a professional machine and the 30mm badges on a children’s Bandai ‘Badge It!’ machine.”

“I then took the badges up to photographer Stephen Lenthall‘s studio in Stoke Newington where one rainy afternoon we shot the cover.Using a paper template I was able to line up the badges exactly to the mock-up I’d created and shown to Paul Pensom earlier in the process. A few last minutes tweaks were made to the rotation of some the badges so the copy read smoother between badges.”

Here’s the final image:

And our cover:



CR in Print

If you only read CR online, you’re missing out. From the meaning of beans to the power of love, the February issue of Creative Review features our 20 favourite slogans of all time and the stories behind them.

What makes a great slogan? We investigate the enduring power of these clever little phrases in our special slogans issue, dedicated to our choices for the top 20 slogans.

If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.

What's the story?

The Storytelling issue, Oct/Nov 2017, is out now.
We invited writers to respond to our cover image
this month: read their stories inside.
PLUS: Tom Gauld, Oliver Jeffers, Giphy & S-Town

Buy the issue

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