Covers.

Photograph by Michel Martin. The 'bus' that took me back to the station. Spotted Anorak at mag Mecca Athenaeum in Amsterdam.

Last week, I hopped to Utrecht (The Netherlands) for a talk on the theme of COVERS, as part of a conference organized by Marketing Tribune Magazine. It was a great event, held in a fabulous disused animal food factory complete with silos and machinery from days past.

The event included talks from different types of magazines, from Stern to Esquire... and us! I discovered a few lovely mags, particularly Happinez, a magazine about spirituality, which started off as an indie a few years back. It is now translated in two languages and smashing it on the newsstands. Power to the indies!
I also enjoyed listening to Paul McNamee of The Big Issue, revealing the role of covers in their unique distribution network as well as Josh Klenert's keynote on his approach to making The Huffington Post look great on all digital platforms.

When you work on a magazine day in day out, there is little time to reflect. Doing a presentation or listening to industry peers is the perfect opportunity to do just that. My talk mostly revolved around introducing Anorak to an audience of Dutch art directors, designers and editors. It also touched on the huge changes that kids magazines covers have experienced over the last 40 years.
Before I started putting my presentation together, I had an inkling that the differences between kids magazines then and kids mags now would be striking. This was all confirmed when I dug a bit deeper! You can see the references I included in my talk here, from slide 19 onwards.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that back in the 1940s, Mickey Mouse Magazine had inclusive taglines such as "Fun for the whole Family" and - my absolute favourite - "A Fun Book for Boys and Girls to read to Grown-ups". Taglines that I could easily adopt to describe Anorak!
In those days, before the marketing brigade moved in, these magazines were all about genuinely fun editorial, confident design, and a huge amount of respect for its audience. I used these beautiful magazines of the past to illustrate how they provide endless sources of inspiration for Anorak and our future projects.

I'd like to thank the organisers for inviting me along to Coverdag, the super friendly audience as well as Martine, Heidi and Thomas for being so relaxed and welcoming.