Human After All’s guide to magazine design

The founders of Huck and Little White Lies are publishing a book about magazine design funded by Kickstarter donations.

The founders of Huck and Little White Lies are publishing a book about magazine design funded by Kickstarter donations.

Curious Iconic Craft is a 100-page book offering advice on editorial design, cover illustrations and custom typefaces. It’s also a retrospective, documenting the creative process behind film magazine Little White Lies and culture magazine Huck, set up in 2005 and 2006 by The Church of London.

Former TCoL directors Danny Miller, Rob Longworth, Alex Capes and Paul Willoughby have since set up creative agency Human After All (featured in the May issue of Creative Review) and no longer work on either title, but wanted to compile their shared knowledge and experience of working on 85 issues.

“It’s been quite a cathartic project for us,” says Miller, who came up with the idea for Little White Lies while studying design at Northumbria University.

“We were quite sad about not working on the mags anymore, and we had compiled a lot of material on magazine design – Paul had delivered talks on it, we’d put together an FAQ for students who approached us looking for advice and we had years of behind-the-scenes and process material – so we thought this would be a good opportunity to take what we’ve learned and do something useful with it,” he adds.

Human After All came up with the idea just a few weeks ago and since launching the project on crowd sourcing site Kickstarter on June 6, they have exceeded their £13,000 fundraising target and received donations from more than 500 backers.

Unusually for a Kickstarter project, the team has been working on the book while raising funds and it will be printed the day after fundraising ends on June 30. As it’s a one-off project, the only way to purchase a copy is to make a Kickstarter donation before midnight on Sunday.

“We could have self-published the book and set up a microsite for it, but we only wanted to do it if there was demand, which is why we went through Kickstarter. We used a little money we had aside to get started while fundraising – and we were a little nervous that we wouldn’t reach target – but we’ve had a steady stream of donations, averaging about £500 a day,” says Miller.

HAA have provided a detailed breakdown of what the money from donations will be spent on and since meeting their target, they have also introduced some new goals: if donations reach £15,000, for example, the team will introduce pantone ink throughout the book.

While Curious Iconic Craft includes a look at Huck and Little White Lies, Miller is keen to point out that it’s a working guide and not a portfolio. “There will be a lot of best practice sections and breakdowns of how we did things, but there will also be a lot of examples of things we did wrong and anecdotes about times we messed up and what we learned from them,” explains Miller.

“We’re not saying we’re the best magazine designers in the world, but we hope people can enjoy the book and take something from it,” he adds.

To view or donate to Human After All’s Kickstarter project, click here.

Images (from top): CIC’s working cover; spreads from the book; 85 Little White Lies and Huck covers; previously unseen final cover sketches provided by HAA.

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