Back to the future


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?!)


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 (, 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

tehilla and patrick jordan, amandine, danny amandine

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The Hills Have Arghs


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


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


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)

Ice, ice, baby

The latest issue of Germanwings contains an interesting story from Iceland on Europe’s longest man-made ice tunnel. It is burrowed 550 metres deep into the Langjökull glacier and ends in an eerily lit cave that doubles as a chapel for weddings and bar mitzvahs. It opened to visitors for the first time this summer. Credit to editor Kerstin Zumstein for digging out the story and to regular Ink photographer Tim White for the photography.

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This is incidentally the last issue of Germanwings in its current form, as Germanwings the airline merges with Eurowings; going forward the new magazine will just be called GermanEuro Wings. (Posted by AndrewH)

B title goes A-list

Say goodbye to b there and b spirit, the European and long-haul versions, respectively, of Brussels Airlines’ inflight magazine. From July these have been replaced with a single, new magazine, b inspired.


The addition of five story-teaser tabs at the top gives a newsstand feel, a bit Guardian-ish, but more importantly presents passengers with multiple content hits poking up out of the seat pocket. We decided to go with a quirky cover concept that would reflect the vision and branding of the airline itself, and it was agreed that we would offer two covers each month, one for the European network and one for the long-haul routes, using two images from the same story.


Inside, the idea was to give the new magazine a stronger Belgian identity, so we created a new front section called Belgitude, which is a bunch of newsy shorts on a Belgian theme, plus a column from Antwerp and a profile of a Belgian personality (no, it’s not Jean-Claude Van Damme). Previously the front section of the magazine was rigidly sectioned with pages devoted to hotels, food, ecology etc – we’ve got rid of all this and replaced it with something far looser, a more free-form diary section that is picture led and totally flexible in format, and which we’ve called Perspective.




Also in perspective is a four-page city guide. The rest of the city guides, which used to jam up the magazine, have migrated online, where readers can find guides to the entire network – which is a good way of driving traffic between the printed magazine and the website. Our regular business writer, Boyd Farrow, has been promoted to a spot mid-book, where he files his dispatches from the global frontline: for our relaunch issue he wonders why we can do anything with technology except make other technology work:

Yet there is one big difference between [Jack] Bauer’s world and ours: spies are never scuppered by their technology. Indeed, whatever their assigned task – producing the “schematics” of any building in the world, say, or disabling any security camera – they can do it instantly in just three keystrokes. They can unclog the photocopier in four.



For the cover story, author of the bestselling Where Chefs Eat Joe Warwick interviewed Albert Adria of elBulli fame, who has almost single-handedly transformed the once-shabby neighbourhood of El Poble Sec in Barcelona into a serious foodie destination with five of his inimitable restaurants. Deputy editor Maresa Manara visited a vineyard in Tuscany where a group of women are creating some excellent wines in a very macho industry and Graeme Virtue joined some wannabe Jedi warriors in training at a lightsaber school in Belgium.


Design-wise, art director Marten Sealby wanted to simply things with a cleaner look – so more white space and wider columns, with fewer fonts and less showy headlines. This allows the photography to really shine and we are committed to shooting as many of the features as we can afford.


The first issue dropped on to our desks today and we are pretty pleased with the result; after a lot of brainstorming, wrangling, hard graft, blood, sweat and tears, we are confident this new magazine will be a hit with Brussels Airlines passengers. (Posted by JaneWright)

The force is with them

The timing is atrocious. After six weeks of no postings I break the silence with Paul Weller on the cover of Metropolitan then just one post later I’m back with Metropolitan again. My apologies to the teams working on Ink’s 30+ other titles. However, we can end any discussions of the best cover of 2015 right here and now on the last day of June, because this is it:


I absolutely love this cover. The story is the Secret Cinema team bringing The Empire Strikes Back to life in a mystery London location. The cover concept is by art director Adriano Cattani, the illustration by the brilliant Yann Legendre.

But there was a possibly even more fabulous option, which involved a cover-mounted Busby-wearing Stormtrooper toy.


It was never going to happen – it’s not just the production costs, we’d have had our asses sued raw by the Mouse. Shame. Ade has the wonderful mock-up above by pop artist/bootleg toy-maker SuckLord pinned up beside his desk.

Then there was the other cover.

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This comes from the photoshoot inside the mag.

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Ade, photographer Ben Knight and writer Peter Watts went along to one of the Secret Cinema screenings (they’re not allowed to tell you where but it involves a tube ride to southeast London rather than space travel) to waylay attendees, all of who were in costume. They were invited to step in front of a white sheet to have their photos taken while Pete carried out quick interviews. The most common response: ‘I’m only here because my boyfriend insisted’.

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(Posted by AndrewH)