You want me to do what with that fish?

If there is a society for cruelty to models then Ink may now feature on its warning list. The reason? The cover shoot for the latest issue of N by Norwegian, which involved art director Rickard Westin rolling half of a herring into a condom and having a model take it into her mouth. Kudos to the airline for going along with the idea, although they did reject a full frontal image because they thought it was a bit kinky.

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Model: Nicky Connolly from MOT Models. Photographer: Liz McBurney

In Ink’s defence, the model’s discomfort was a lot less than editor Toby Skinner’s, who wrote the story on surströmming (fermented Baltic herring), which is reckoned to be, as the cover suggests, the world’s smelliest food. Look it up on YouTube and three videos on the first page contain ‘vomit alerts’. In one of them, a retching Daily Telegraph journalist describes the smell as being like ‘rotting dog faeces’. So, of course, Toby had to spread some on a sandwich and eat it – but only after rising at 2.30am to go fishing off the coast of Sweden and following the catch to the gutting tables, where interviews were conducted over bins of bloodied heads. The resulting story, previewed below, is in the forthcoming August issue of the magazine. Sadly it was too expensive to do a scratch-and-sniff. (Posted by AndrewH)

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Second only to slimming

Last Thursday, 10 July, Rickard Westin, art director of N by Norwegian, and myself, the magazine’s editor, went to the PPA Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel and just about succeeded in not disgracing ourselves. The PPA for those who don;t know is the Professional Publishers Assocation and it is the UK’s grand publishing body.

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It was a really fun night, if slightly more formal than the BSME Awards. Claudia Winkelman was a lively if slightly too polished presenter; there was a warm, funny video piece about the eccentric late publisher Felix Dennis; and a nice speech from Michael Heseltine, who was very amusing on Felix Dennis. Otherwise, think distinguished gentlemen in tuxedos and 45-quid bottles of house wine – though horrifyingly, no goodie bags.

A nice touch was that winners were serenaded by personalised theme songs – business columnist of the year Sally Donovan, for example, got a bit of ‘So Sally can wait’ from Oasis. Sadly we never got to hear a snatch of Norwegian Wood. However, we were compensated by the honour of being “highly commended” (ie second) in the Customer Magazine of the Year.

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We were beaten, incidentally, by the almighty Slimming World, a juggernaut of real-life weight loss stories (we were too distracted to hear their song). Would you rather read about how to lose three stone in six weeks or about bull’s testicle whips and severed fish heads (all in the August issue of N by Norwegian)? Actually, don’t answer that. (Posted by Toby Skinner)

Never can say goodbye

Ex-Ink art director/group art director Julia Murray may have swapped London for a return to her family home (and 800-head of cattle) back in New Zealand but she hasn’t completely severed ties with Ink. She supplied some beautiful illustration work for the new issue of Germanwings, to accompany a feature on the best of European zoos. (Posted by AndrewH)

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Bricking it

Faced with the challenge of illustrating a feature on the quirky motivations for why people travel (we ended up with some great stories but some less-than-stellar personal travel shots) we avoided the stock-photo route and let the destinations be the star. We also decided that our intrepid travellers would be played by LEGO mini figures. (Editors confession: I was also not long out of the LEGO movie with the strains of “Everything is Awesome” still being sung in our house). We were also inspired by the journeys of the little LEGOgrapher.

The first task was to find our stars: including a hipster café lover, a diver, a cemetery-enthusiast and some attendant ghosts (the latter of which proved hardest as they were no longer “sold separately” as they say in toy lingo). Once the cast was assembled they got a first-class (post) trip to Australia where our photographer Jonathan Cami ferried them (and an appropriately sized plastic camel) to several locations around Sydney.

The client liked the result so much we decided to mock up a LEGO cover which they went for. (Posted by Paul Chai)

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