Back to the future

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If there’s one thing that strikes fear into the heart of any self-respecting editor, it’s the anniversary issue. Of course, we all love an opportunity to celebrate, but it’s the one edition of the year when all the rules go out the window and the result can look like a navel-gazing nostalgia trip – a look-at-us-aren’t-we-great statement that pleases very few actual readers.

So when we started talking earlier this year about easyJet’s impending 20th birthday, we hatched a plan. There would be no birthday cakes, no candles or balloons and absolutely no dewy-eyed looks back through the annals of what we – or the airline – has achieved in the past. Instead, we’d adopt the opposite tact and focus squarely on what’s to come.

To their credit, the powers that be at easyJet loved the idea, feeding, as it does into their own, tech-savvy forward-looking vision for the airline. And so the Future issue was born – a birthday edition with a difference, channeling some of the best bits of our favourite crystal-ball gazing magazines, equal parts Wired and Popular Mechanics, but more orange and with quite a bit less budget to play with.

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So we asked futurologists what life, love and travel would be like in 2035 – i.e. in another 20 years – and the answers they provided were illuminating. Apparently, we’ll all be polyamorous meat suits, hooked on virtual reality and food pills. Or possibly, all Uber drivers. Illustrator Megapont did a great of job of realising this brave new world.

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Elsewhere, we told a cracking tale of modern derring-do that also doubles up as a possible vision of the future of aviation. Pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are half way into a daring attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a solar-powered plane. So far, the Solar Impulse II trip has been fraught with difficulties, such as when their stability controls failed in the middle of a five-day flight. And I won’t even discuss their biggest challenge: how to go to the loo in the tiny cockpit. But the terrific pics enabled our art director Mat Wiggins the opportunity to be a little self-indulgent with some full-bleed DPS images.

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We also pulled together a group of sickeningly high-achieving 20 year olds from across Europe, all of whom were born in the same year as easyJet (you can read more on Florence’s entry below), and revealed why Amsterdam is – and has actually been for the past four centuries – the most futuristic city around.

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All in all, we’re happy with an issue that feels remarkably fresh in terms of its content and yet still manages to celebrate easyJet’s birthday in suitable style. Check it out when it arrives for November. And I got to reel out a Back to the Future quote in my editor’s letter, so everyone’s happy.

words: Simon Kurs

easyJet: a year in covers

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It looked more like the aftermath of a food fight than a meticulously arranged shoot. The cover for easyJet’s September issue had taken two months of planning (on and off), the involvement of eight trained professionals (photographers, art directors and food artists) and around 3 tonnes of vegetable matter. By crunch time, much of the latter was scattered across every surface of Liz McBurney’s east London studio, interspersed with cups of tea and craft knives, almost as if a group of ladies from the WI had gone postal at a village fete.

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The truly scary bit was upending the glass frame. After six hours of working out how to lay out the lettering (carefully), bury it (in specially aerated soil) and pat it down (like gardeners with their prize marrows), the moment of truth was painful. Clutched by four tense people, the wood-and-glass contraption was lifted oh-so-slowly from horizontal to vertical. And… nothing bad happened. The word RAW, spelled out in vegetables, which the Bompas & Parr team had buried under a careful brown blanket of earth, was there in all its glory – readable, sharp and smiling out at us through the glass frame. Big sighs all round.

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All in all, it’s been a great year for easyJet covers. As plans are in train for the Christmas issue (shhhh!), we’re looking back on some crackers.

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Such as January, where we forced a full-size food van into a bijou studio, and added a smattering of top London chefs to represent the story about chefs’ favourite eating spots.

2015_03_easyjetOr Hattie Newman’s playful take on a family beach holiday in March – made out of from kindergarten-style multimedia – which answered the brief for How to Craft The Perfect Family Holiday perfectly.

2015_05_EasyJetFor May’s music issue we recreated Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band featuring a composite of all the artists featured in the issue. Peter Quinnell, who put it together, is a talented guy…

2015_08_easyJet… as is Kyle Bean, brains (together with temporary art director Jonny Hughes) behind our escaping island – for August’s Island Escapes issue (what else?!)

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And finally, for easyJet’s 20th birthday and our corresponding FUTURE ISSUE – an extravagant 200-page ‘Collector’s Edition – this futuristic, typographic marvel, courtesy of Peter Tarka.

So there you have it – a year of exciting covers to be proud of. Some easier to execute than others, but a story behind every one…

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Words Sarah Warwick
Art direction by Mat Wiggins

 

Class of 1995

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If there’s one thing to make you feel inadequate about your life, it’s being around a millionaire, a world-famous DJ and an Olympian, all of whom are just 20 years old.

That was the overriding feeling for many of us involved in easyJet Traveller’s photo shoot for the November issue – a special 20th-anniversary edition of the magazine celebrating 20 years since the airline’s maiden flight.

To mark the occasion, we’d made the decision to round up some notable characters who were born in 1995, to find out what it’s like for people who have only ever known the world with those ‘friendly, orange skies’ – and also what it’s possible to achieve in just two decades.

A lot, as it turns out.

In all, there were eight chosen to come to London from all over Europe, including a fashion vlogger with nine-million followers, a classical composer, a Swedish ballerina, and a Guinness-World-Record-holding eGamer.

On the day in the West London Studio (westlondonstudio.co.uk), millionaire businessman Jordan Daykin arrives with PA in tow. Since being the youngest person ever to win money from Dragon’s Den in 2013 for ‘Grip-It Fixings’ – a universal hardware solution – he’s made a mint. Next to him is Amandine Buchard: on course to represent France in Judo next year at the Rio Olympics. The last to arrive – complete with entourage – is Madrid-based DJ Danny Avila, rumoured to be the next David Guetta. We were lucky to get him, sneaking into his schedule in the four-hour gap between a flight in from the US and one out to Bangkok.

Despite the level of success, there are no divas here. They’re quietly excited to be here, and are polite and patient with photographer Jude Edington. They’re also interested in each other’s endeavours and share a brand of innocent enthusiasm that must be their secret to such early success. They’re so lovely in fact, that – despite what they’ve achieved so young – it’s hard to feel envious.

Although I’m gutted I didn’t think of Jordan’s Grip-It Fixings idea first.

Words Florence Derrick, assistant editor
Photography by Jude Edington

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The Hills Have Arghs

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Chris Wright, Ink’s lean mean US editor, joined the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in the Catskill Mountains, New York 

There can be few people less suited to a week-long Bear Grylls survival course than old Stella-boy here. But then that was precisely the point. When setting out to report the Hemispheres feature for October, I had i n mind one of those out-of-your-element first-person pieces, the kind that glean comedy from hardship and humiliation. Hey, look at the blobby middle-aged guy rappelling down a cliff! Ha ha!

That was the idea.

I did indeed get a chance to rappel down a cliff, right next to a 75-foot waterfall, into which I got sucked. I honestly thought I was done for—a lifetime of lager-drinking and pie-eating flashed before my eyes. In addition to the waterfall thing, I slept beside a bear trail, ate a live earthworm, wheezed my way up mountainsides and ankle-sprained my way down. It was absolutely bloody horrible.  

On the plus side, I emerged from the experience a stronger and wiser person. For the first time in my life, I really feel like I know who I am, and where I fit in the world. I feel whole. Actually, none of that is true, but I did at least get to describe, in print, the moment when a female survivalist found me pooing next to a tree. 

Samuel L Jackson does NOT like (most) photo shoots

IMG_3956 IMG_3962Every week, we’re going to be giving Made With Ink to a different magazine to post as they please. First up, it’s our New York team, who publish Hemispheres and Rhapsody on behalf of United Airlines

Samuel L. Jackson does NOT like doing photo shoots.

“I’m serious,” he said this past September, during a Rhapsody cover shoot for the Ink title’s JANUARY edition. “I don’t like doin’ this shit.”

But the actor and frequent Quentin Tarantino collaborator (he stars in the auteur’s upcoming western The Hateful Eight) was decidedly NOT talking about his experience with Rhapsody.

“I have to admit this is one of the better photo shoots I’ve done in a very long time,” the 66-year-old said, while pulling up a pair of black trousers.

Perhaps credit goes to the mild-mannered Ink veteran Christos Hannides, who art directed the shoot, or the fact that it took place in one of Los Angeles’s swankiest hotel rooms—the Penthouse Suite Inspired by Vivienne Westwood at the London Hotel in West Hollywood.

Whatever the reason, the experience was apparently a delightful one for Jackson, who shared some fun anecdotes from his early days as a film actor, including the following one, which explains why Jackson never wears Nike: While putting on a pair of gold-colored leather trainers, the Washington, DC–native recounted how when he first got to Hollywood and had a little fame, he called up Nike to see if he could score some free kicks.

“And they went, ‘Who?’” recalled Jackson.

A few hours later Adidas satisfied his request. And then a few hours after that, Nike called back with a sudden change of heart, to which Jackson replied, “F*** you!”

(Posted by Jordan Heller, Editor in Chief)

LARPing around

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There’s a great read in the new August issue of easyJet Traveller by Vicky Lane, about the weekend she spent LARPing (that’s Live Action Role Playing) – basically fancy dress in a field for adults.

“So, here they are and it’s an awesome sight. Around 400 creatures – scaly beings clutching spiked staffs, elf-like beauties with bows and arrows, armoured knights swinging broadswords – clash with the 400-strong enemy army, who snarl from a fort in the centre of the battlefield. It’s as though Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars have all been mashed into one epic finale. At least, it would be, if it weren’t for the nervous dog walkers scurrying past, a reminder that this fantasy setting is very much in the real world.”

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The photos are by Carlotta Cardana. (Posted by AndrewH)

Big catch

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The team narrowly missed out last year to Slimming World but last night n by Norwegian was named as Customer Magazine of the Year in the prestigious 2015 PPA awards. This is a huge accolade as these are the most prestigious awards in the UK magazine publishing industry. Norwegian beat out a shortlist that included British Airway’s High LifeWaitrose Kitchen and Slimming World. Winners in other categories on the night included Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Porter Magazine, Jamie and The Big Issue, so we’re in good company. Former Ink employee Darren Endicott was awarded Designer of the Year (Business Media) for his work on Professional Manager magazine. Well earned congratulations to Toby Skinner, Rickard Westin, Mandi Keighran, Omer Ali and Regina Wolek. (Posted by AndrewH)