Stories well told

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I’ve posted a couple of times about the visual lushness of Excelente, the premium-class cabin magazine Ink produces for Iberia but what I haven’t mentioned is the quality of the feature stories. The May issue, cover above, has a couple of absolute gems.

There’s the profile of Takuya Ishimine, 55 years old, born and raised in Osaka, who fell in love with reggae after hearing Bob Marley’s Redemption Song on Japanese radio. He managed to get himself sent to Jamaica as an employee of a Japanese coffee company but then he was made redundant. Instead of packing up and returning home he took over ownership of a Kingston record store after its Jamaican owner was gunned down and killed.

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For the last three years, in his loosely fitted, patterned cotton shirts, khaki shorts and flip-flops Ishimine opens up shop each morning, even though he can go several days without a sale. To supplement his income he serves Blue Mountain coffee and hand-makes record sleeves from assorted colours of cartridge paper. ‘Jamaica is still a paradise for me and now I can “eat a food” [make some money] and enjoy myself here,’ Ishimine told journalist Patricia Meschino. The photographs are by Chema Llanos.

Then there’s this:

The Eva Jocelyn arrived in the neighbourhood of Anibong – District 68 of the city of Tacloban – along with a host of other tragedies, when Typhoon Haiyan, known as Yolanda by its victims, swept through the Philippines. The 3,000-tonne cargo ship had been anchored in San Pedro Bay, on the San Juanico Strait, with its 19 crew members onboard. At 7am on 8 November 2013, Yolanda’s screaming 316kmph winds launched the ship at the capital of the Eastern Visayas Islands. It flew like a toy boat through the streets, adding to the devastation suffered by 80% of the structures in the city. Sliding to a halt, it embedded itself in the house of Estrella Moro. The bow pierced the second floor of the Moro home and there it stopped, the last voyage of the Eva Jocelyn.

That’s the opening paragraph of the story that goes on to describe how the Eva Jocelyn, which brought destruction to a Filipino village, rapidly became a focal point for the devastated community as the ship’s auxiliary engine provided a sole source of electricity. Local businesses like soft-drink sellers set up close by, while elderly card players found the shadow cast by its looming hull was a cool place to sit and the women did their laundry there.

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It reads like something from the pages of a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, except the tale is true and there are stunning photos to prove it. Both words and pictures are by Spanish photo-journalist Daniel Burgui Iguzkiza.

Credit also to Ink editor Jesus Huarte for unearthing these amazing stories. (Posted by AndrewH)

More Norwegian (potential) glory

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N by Norwegian has been shortlisted in the 2015 PPA Awards in two categories including Best Cover (see above), in which it is up against Crumbs, Time Out, Shortlist, Radio Times, GQ, Elle, Red, The Big Issue and Country Life. Go here at once and give it your vote.

N by Norwegian is also up for Customer Magazine of the Year against the likes of High Life, Waitrose Kitchen and last year’s winner Slimming World. (Posted by AndrewH)

I never read. I just look at pictures…

…is something the Picture Desk team and Andy Warhol (sort of) have in common.

As picture editors, we of course have to, and might I add – enjoy to, read the stories that land on our desks. But our thing, just like Warhol, is pictures. And since I’m no wordsmith, I’ll keep this short!

We’re fortunate to work with some fantastic photographers and want to show them off. So here’s a sneak preview of some of next month’s commissions from the London office…

Ben Quinton went to Florence’s Botanical Gardens for Ronda.

Josh Shinner photographed Petitie Meller, Spector, Andreya Triana, Twin Atlantic, Kwabs and Gaz Coombes for easyJet Traveller’s Sounds of Summer feature.

Greg Funnell made the most of the extra hour of daylight in Mexico for Thomas Cook Travel.

And finally, our resident photographer Tim E. White braved the bright lights of Las Vegas and LA for n by Norwegian’s neon cover story.

(Posted by Julia Holmes)

Rhapsody rhapsodised

The Society of Publications of Designers in America has just announced its Merit Awards, which include three gongs for Rhapsody, the premium cabin magazine produced by Ink for United Airlines. They are for last June’s DeNiro cover, September’s Lenny Kravitz and December’s Emily Blunt photo story. Congratulations to the team: editors Jordan Heller, Sean Manning, Hunter R Slaton and Erin Brady, design director Christos Hannides and photo editor Jessie Adler.

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Rhapsody is also in contention for gold and silver medals for the photo stories with Robert DeNiro and Christina Hendricks, up against the likes of Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Wired. An easy win then. The winners will be announced at the 50th SPD Awards Gala on Friday 1 May. (Posted by AndrewH)

Well red

04 Apr Cover Excelente

As of today passengers in the premium cabins on Iberia flights are being dazzled by the cover of the April issue of Excelente, which is vividly and gorgeously red. It’s just a shame the planes aren’t also carrying the January, February and March issues as well so everybody can see what a stunning set the magazine’s covers make to date.

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In keeping with the previous three issues, the inside back page ‘deconstructs’ the object on the front cover.

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The story to which the cover relates is about the Classic Car Club in east London, which gives members access to 50 cars of the sort boyhood dreams are made of (well, some boys anyway). The beautiful photography is by the highly recommended Ben Quinton.

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(Posted by AndrewH)