Traveller brings the beach to Shoreditch

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London’s weather’s been uncharacteristically sunny for the last week, and all of us at the Ink office were dreaming of the beach. For those unlucky enough to be stuck in gritty Hackney, the easyJet Traveller team had a solution: get someone to paint us a beach.

On Monday 8th July – the hottest day of the year to date – a street artist called Gnasher, who we’d found through the Global Street Art agency, spent nine very sweaty hours spraying a wall on New North Place, behind Toto’s café on Scrutton Street (http://goo.gl/maps/kKsrQ). His acrylic efforts created the effect of a coastal paradise, complete with yellow sun umbrella, quaffable cocktail and the easyJet Traveller logos.

The 4m tall result – paint cans and all – was shot by Mr Tim E White, photographer extraordinaire, and became our very first street-art cover – a beach paradise for our August 2013 escapes issue. But the wizardry didn’t stop there.

Our Shoreditch beach then became the centre of a Twitter competition for @easyJet, where any passerby could tweet pictures of themselves with the giant cover (with the hashtag #coverstars) and have a chance to win two flights. (Go on – have a go! The competition is open until 1 August.)

Even more excitingly, thanks to the filming efforts of our Tech Editor, Alex Pell, who took a time-lapse video of the whole day on his iPhone 5, and to augmented reality specialists Blippar.com, the cover – when it goes on the planes on 1 August – will be our first foray into augmented reality. When a device (like a smartphone or tablet, which has the Blippar app downloaded) is held over it, it will come to life, and readers will be able to see the time-lapse video in reverse: Gnasher will appear to suck the paint off the wall, rewinding the process to the empty wall. Exciting stuff!

So – as you can see – none of us have had any time to think about the real beach. We’ve been far too busy with this one. Roll on August! (Posted by SarahW)

Johnny Depp’s Smile

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This is not Photoshop-trickery. That really is Johnny Depp reading a copy of Smile, the magazine produced by Ink Singapore for Filipino airline Cebu Pacific. Editor Tara Sering explains: “One of our regular contributors, Ruben V. Nepales, who covers Hollywood celebrities for our Chikka Interview section, is also the chairman of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (yup, the group that awards the Golden Globes). He’s Filipino but he migrated to the US a while back, in the mid-80s. He’s a very sweet man who said yes right away when we first asked him to do a celebrity interview for us last year. We’ve sent him a wish list of celebrities we’d like to see reading the magazine (personally am keeping my fingers crossed for Edward Norton), and we post these photos on the Smile Facebook Page as a teaser for the next issue’s celebrity interview.” (Posted by AndrewH)

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