E is for Effort

December sees a major of overhaul of the magazine Ink produces for Ryanair. The client challenged the team to come up with something fresh and different. We took them at their word and what we’ve delivered is a monthly changing A to Z of travel based around the Ryanair network. So out goes the standard short front-of-book items followed by a feature well followed by more short back-of-the-book pieces. Instead the almost the entire magazine is 26 pieces of varying lengths organised by the alphabet. Feratures and shorts are mixed. In the December relaunch issue A is for April Fools, B is for bridge (the Millau Viaduct), H is for hobbit, and so on.

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The letters and stories are all listed out on the contents, alongside the destinations that are linked to each story; the big ticket items are pulled out and highlighted with images and longer write ups.

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The length of each entry is whatever the story merits: some are just an annotated infographic or big picture with an extended caption, as above…

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…others, like the short story that results from the ‘Challenge’ run over several pages.

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It is a perfect format for browsing.

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The cover story falls under G for ‘Give us a kiss’.

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The tone (and text) is generally playful and cheeky…

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…but not forgetting the obligatory smattering of travel porn.

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There’s even room for a man and his dog (under Q for ‘Q&A).

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Difficult letters required a bit of lateral thinking: X is for ‘X Factor’ – does the Sunborn Yacht Hotel have it?

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Z was going to be for ‘Zzzzzs’ ie hotel reviews until somebody learnt of the Latvian word for Christmas tree (Y is also for ‘Yuletide’ of course). What happens next month when the Christmas lexicon disappears in the rearview mirror, we’ll have to wait and see. (Posted by AndrewH)

Kings of convenience

In the latest issue of Tiger Tales Asia we asked: Are convenience stores the new Asian street food? In the region, convenience stores are big business. With over 5000 stores in Taiwan alone, going to a 7-Eleven (or one of its local rivals like FamilyMart) is more than just grabbing a packet of chips, you can also grab a (plastic and fairly uncomfy) seat, a hot meal and a chat.

So, with corner shops creating a real buzz on the streets of 24-hour cities like Hong Kong and Bangkok – and actually starting to take business from traditional street food in some cities – we decided to give the fluoro lights and sweet-packed shelves a makeover in Tiger Tales, sending some of the region’s top food writers to review the all-night food options at their local store.

When they reported back to us they also sent us boxes of what they ate, which we used in an upmarket food shoot (minus the few things that went off and created a fairly unmistakable odour in the Ink Singapore office, sorry all!). The resulting shoot, with Singaporean food photographer and stylist team, Daydream, turned the food from gloop into gourmet. (Posted by Paul Chai)

Opener Taiwan Bangkok Manila

It’s a mud mud world!

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Originally this Fah Thai photo essay, selected by photo editor Jenny Penas, was meant to run with minimal text, focusing on Indian-born, Australian-raised, Hong Kong-based photographer Palani Mohan’s incredible shots. After speaking to Palani about the process of capturing this century-old form of Indian wrestling, we realised that it was important to include his observations while working on this project, one that has lasted him over ten years. His prediction is that it is fast fading and will not be around much longer. This isn’t surprising as the sport involves groups of 17- and 18-year-old boys who are not allowed to have sexual thoughts – a rare find. (Posted by Alexandra Karplus)

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