To mark its 50th anniversary, this weekend’s Sunday Times Magazine cover will feature an image of an installation of over 100 magazines hanging on wires to form the number 50. The image, conceived and art directed by The Sunday Times Magazine’s art director Alyson Waller, was created by CG specialist Taylor James…
“I didn’t have much notice – not much more than a week,” Waller tells us. “The editor asked if I could think of something for the 50th Anniversary cover,” she continues. “Of course the most important thing to get across is that it’s 50 years old, an incredible amount of time for a magazine to run. It’s a bit obvious, but having the number 50 was important. The editor then mentioned that we were going to do an exhibition to celebrate the 50th anniversary and that’s when I started thinking about creating some kind of installation that could appear in a gallery. There wasn’t enough time to create an actual installation so I approached Taylor James to see if they could create visualise the idea of hundreds of magazines hanging on strings to form a three dimensional 50.”
“The challenge with this project was to create a sense of scale and power,” says Dave Wortley, lead 3D artist at Taylor James who worked on the image.” We wanted to make sure it would look like an installation in a large gallery and not a scaled model. Each magazine is unique in shape and form and there are over 100 covers from 50 years of the Sunday Times Magazine in the image, so we used a bit of scripting to avoid repeats on the front row and make the rest appear random.”
Waller at The Sunday Times Magazine was able to provide Taylor James with digital files of photographed covers from the magazine’s archives, with some issues having to be re-photographed especially. Then dozens of emails were exchanged between the art director and Taylor James as the image started to take shape.
“It was a challenge to complete this project in the timeframe,” adds Wortley, “with a lot of our attention given at the early concepting stage. We created a model of the magazine made to scale and then each [virtual] magazine is threaded onto a wire. If you look closely enough you can even see the staples in the fold of the magazines!”
The anniversary edition of the magazine will be in the newspper and online this Sunday February 5 and will feature the 50 greatest front covers from over the 50 years.
To further celebrate the ripe old age of 50, The Sunday Times is marking its half century with a free exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery, (running until February 18) showcasing the cover image and also some of the features and world class photography which has defined it over the years.
Photographers featured include Dan McCullin, David bailey, Eve Arnold, Richard Avedon, Eugene Richards, Sam Taylor-Wood, Terry O’Neil, Chris Floyd and Stuart Franklin. More info at saatchi-gallery.co.uk
See more of Taylor James’ work at taylorjames.com
See more of Alyson Waller’s work here
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.