We’re thrilled with our new addition. A bi-monthly magazine created for Hong Kong Express – Hong Kong’s first low-cost carrier – it’s bright, bold and interactive, just like something you’d find on the city’s newstands.
HK Express had two mandatory requirements for its inflight read. First, we were to incorporate the airline’s flight code, UO, into the name. Secondly, the magazine was to have a distinct Hong Kong look, feel and voice. As the airline had yet to finalise its branding, the rest was up to us. The result is UO.
Why UO? Well, initials are often used as magazine titles in Asia, and it’s catchier than forging something from the tricky letter combination.
Our inaugural cover star was a coup. After several rounds of cover no-nos, picture editor Jenny Peñas found this atmospheric shot of Gothic-cute personality La Carmina, taken on a Tokyo side street. La Carmina travels around Asia exploring the streets and subcultures of cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong and Seoul for her blog, books and TV shows. She was a treat to interview, was delighted to appear on our first cover and is now in talks with the airline on a number of collaboration ideas.
UO is sectioned by topic – shopping, food, travel, people, style, adventure – and the content is short, snappy and easy to digest. It’s deliberately tailored to emulate the eyeball-darting experience of browsing online: we’re catering for the airline’s savvy, Gen Y demographic.
The pages shown here include a series of British photographer Alfie Goodrich’s stunning portraits of Tokyo taxi drivers (Travel); profiles of Hong Kong’s most stylish, quirky and best-connected bar hosts (Style); and gorgeous art and collectibles in the Thai city of Chiang Mai (Shopping). Tips from HK locals appear throughout – Hong Kongers are known to trust their peers more than they trust random destination experts – and we invite reader feedback and content.
The lack of grid and intentional messiness of UO, all primary colours, bold text blocks and scattered symbols, are typical of style mags in the region. We blended Chinese and Western approaches to create something original for the client – and the reader. Hong Kong Express is as delighted as we are with its new baby. (Posted by Liz Weselby & Pete Stephens, Ink Singapore)