On the left, the January 2007 issue of The Wire: on the right, the July 2008 issue of Wallpaper*.
Great minds think alike?
The Wire cover (above), photographed by Korner Union and art directed by James Goggin, was for an issue looking back at the highlights of 2006: hence its use of all 12 issues from the previous year, sliced up.
The Wallpaper* cover (above, photographed by Matthew Donaldson) is for its Secret Elite issue and comes with light-sensitive ink on the masthead and cover line that changes colour in direct sunlight, revealing a “secret” web address on the spine to access extra info.
The Wire’s editor-in-chief and publisher, Tony Herrington, is not happy. “We know that imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, but this is daylight robbery,” he alleges. “Someone call the style police.”
However, Wallpaper* art director Meirion Pritchard denies copying The Wire: “I was referencing our 100th issue cover, the stack with the 100 punched out [shown below]. We used the shreds on the contents as we had done with that issue too,” he says. “It was originally going to be a bigger stack but took ages to cut, so I kept it small. The idea was that the mag, being the Secret Elite issue, was so top secret that it was instantly shredded after it came off the printer. I can see where The Wire are coming from, but I think in the context it makes sense. Just as NEST didn’t own die-cutting (which was one blogger’s comment when we did that) Wire don’t own shredding. It happens a lot, people come to similar conclusions from different routes.”