A more Asian approach to concept covers

London is not the only place doing creative magazine covers. Last July, Jetstar Asia kissed goodbye its long run of celebrity covers and took a more conceptual approach. Group editor Anne Loh and deputy editor Kimberly Koo provide some background of what went into making the two most recent covers:

Jetstar Asia February cover: origami and Japanese woodblock print on Japanese paper


This cover, for the story on Japanese hot-spring bathing, features two centuries-old traditional art forms that became widespread during the Edo period: woodblock printing (moku hanga) and paper folding (origami). The Jetstar Asia team – Anthony Gonzales (art director) and Aaron Low (photo editor) – and a Singaporean-Japanese colleague Juri, created the cover composition. The cherry blossoms and the lady donning a kimono are featured on a woodblock print in the shape of a circle. The sphere is inspired by the red disc on the Japanese flag.

Jetstar Asia March cover: sand, religious figurines and a diver paper cut-out in a fishbowl:


This cover, for the feature on the 15th anniversary of a reef restoration project in Pemuteran Bay, is an installation impression of the underwater gallery in the Indonesian bay. Actual religious figures were covered with stone-textured paint to produce the effect of submerged relics. These miniature statues, along with sand and the cut-out, were immersed in a filled fishbowl. The composition was photographed against a dark blue backdrop to simulate the marine environment. The cover was art directed by Anthony Gonzales and shot by Adrian Koh of Gaia Films. (Posted by AKarplus)

2 of 8

Welcome to issue two of Eight
In Thailand, each day is attributed a different colour. This tradition extends to birthdays, which are identified with a colour representing the day on which people were born. His Majesty King Bhumibol of Thailand came into the world on Monday 5 December, 1927, and each year his birthday is celebrated with yellow decorations and by the wearing of yellow clothes.
Taking the Thai day colours as our inspiration, we have created a book all about colour. This edition of Eight is divided, appropriately, into eight sections: yellow (Monday), pink (Tuesday), green (Wednesday), orange (Thursday), blue (Friday), purple (Saturday) and red (Sunday) – along with a section on white, a “non-colour”. All interviews, stories and images relate to that section’s colour.
It’s been a treat. We’ve met people who work with certain colours, and have explored the Dusit network of countries by their prominent colours.
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 We’ve investigated the legend of the White Lady in Guam and shot the feature using infradred photography, and in “Why isn’t food blue?” we’ve examined the psychology of colour in food preparation. Photographer JeongMee has spent the last eight years cataloguing young girls’ obsession with pink, and we carry a selection of her stunning portraits, while science writer Philip Ball explains how the 19th-century invention of purple dye spawned an entire industry devoted to the colour.
Check out some of the features we are most proud of here:
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(Posted by Peter Stephens)

110 in 5*

Christmas came early this year (well, today) as the Asian Publishing Awards announced its list of winners for 2014. A total of 10 awards have been given to Ink Singapore titles, bringing the tally of awards won in the last five years to 110 *(thanks to Hamish for that stat). Wins came in two categories — the Gold Award and the Excellence Award —and if you want to see who won what, just keep scrolling down. Congratulations, everybody, what a great way to close 2014. (Posted by Tara Sering)

Jetstar Asia, Gold Award for Best Use of Illustration


Scoot, Gold Award for Best Editorial Brand Projection


Smile for Cebu Pacific Airlines, Gold Award for Best Wellness Feature

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Smile for Cebu Pacific Airlines, Gold Award for Best Use of Typography



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Jetstar Asia July 2014, Excellence Award for Best Cover Design

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Scoot, Excellence Award for Best Cover Design

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Fah Thai‘s “Welcome to the Punch”, Excellence Award for Best Photo Documentary

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Tiger Tales for Tigerair’s “Aloha, Taiwan”, Excellence Award for Best Use of Illustration


Fah Thai, Excellence Award for Best Use of Illustration

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Tiger Tales for Tigerair’s “On the road again”, Excellence Award for Best Use of Illustration


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)

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It’s a mud mud world!


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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More yellow and black please

As an airline Scoot has a very simple direction when it comes to it’s branding – yellow and black and lots of it.SCOOT - JUN-AUG

So when it came to giving the cover of Scoot magazine a refresh we embraced that thinking. We sourced and commissioned Ian Keltie, a commercial artist and creative director based in London to come up with a concept for us. He uses photo montage and block colours to create really striking and engaging images. He’s also one of the nicest people we’ve worked with so, if you ever need anything similar have a look here: www.iankeltie.com.


We briefed Ian on our colour restrictions and the elements that needed to be on the cover and let him run with it. He came back with a selection of great ideas and after a few tweaks we have an original and super eye-catching cover, complete with bespoke typography. The client is thrilled with the result, and so are we. (Posted by Pete Stephens & Claire Knox)

Totes amazeballs Jetstar

Jetstar Australia underwent a complete overhaul in May and it gets better and better with each issue. The September book stars comedy duo The Bondi Hipsters on the cover. Inside, Dom Nader and Adrian Archer give us their comedic take on a guidebook style piece. The inclusion of three pugs was one of those lucky breaks – art director Taryn Yat seconded the critters from a passerby on the shoot. French bulldogs, after all, are so 2013.


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For the redesign we introduced more lifestyle content with lots of food and drink, fashion, beauty & men’s grooming and social trends, while features are more creative in execution. Here’s a photo-essay about lindy hoppers in Bangkok and a behind-the-scenes look at musical theatre in Melbourne, also from September. To see more go to ink-live.com

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Posted by Liz Weselby / Elisabeth Knowles

Behind the scenes at Smile

If you haven’t seen the latest Smile cover, well, we think it’s a bit a special.

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And no, that is not Photoshop trickery. It’s just what happens when you take a model out on a boat in the Philippines.

Seeing the dolphins in Bais Bay was a planned stop on the itinerary and the only issue (apart from getting up at 4am to make sure we were all in the boat by 6.30am) was the weather. The monsoon season was just starting and it had been raining every day before we got to Dumaguete, which was problematic because dolphins apparently only come up to the surface to catch the sun.

The morning we set out for the bay it was drizzling and the sky was overcast. I thought, well, if we don’t see dolphins we at least get a boat ride, which is always fun. There were other spots we wanted to shoot at, like a well-known sandbar further out. The rain held off and although it took a while the dolphins did show up. Initially they were coy, surfacing quite a distance from us. The boatmen said they take some time to warm up but once they get into it, they start swimming alongside the boat. I knew from a previous dolphin-watching trip that they respond to cheers and applause, so we all set up making a racket. And what do you know, it worked! The rain did come down later but by then we’d got everything we wanted, including wildlife. (Posted by Tara Sering, Smile editor)

Prepping the model

Off on the shoot

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Out on the boat

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Our cover stars make an appearance

Dolphin outtake

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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