The force is with them

The timing is atrocious. After six weeks of no postings I break the silence with Paul Weller on the cover of Metropolitan then just one post later I’m back with Metropolitan again. My apologies to the teams working on Ink’s 30+ other titles. However, we can end any discussions of the best cover of 2015 right here and now on the last day of June, because this is it:

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I absolutely love this cover. The story is the Secret Cinema team bringing The Empire Strikes Back to life in a mystery London location. The cover concept is by art director Adriano Cattani, the illustration by the brilliant Yann Legendre.

But there was a possibly even more fabulous option, which involved a cover-mounted Busby-wearing Stormtrooper toy.

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It was never going to happen – it’s not just the production costs, we’d have had our asses sued raw by the Mouse. Shame. Ade has the wonderful mock-up above by pop artist/bootleg toy-maker SuckLord pinned up beside his desk.

Then there was the other cover.

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This comes from the photoshoot inside the mag.

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Ade, photographer Ben Knight and writer Peter Watts went along to one of the Secret Cinema screenings (they’re not allowed to tell you where but it involves a tube ride to southeast London rather than space travel) to waylay attendees, all of who were in costume. They were invited to step in front of a white sheet to have their photos taken while Pete carried out quick interviews. The most common response: ‘I’m only here because my boyfriend insisted’.

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(Posted by AndrewH)

Eurostar by Print Club

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Realising that a cheesy birthday card just wasn’t going to cut it for Eurostar’s 20th anniversary, Metropolitan art director Adriano Cattini commissioned London’s Print Club to create eight art works exclusively for the magazine’s celebratory November issue, including the cover, above. All are now for sale on Print Club’s website.

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The vibrant big-message cover is from London-based Irishman Barry Leonard, who, apparently, likes to listen to a bit of Nick Cave while he works. The ‘Better Closer’ slogan is Eurostar’s own birthday message of love.

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Lucille Clerc is a French illustrator whose work features the derelict buildings and local shops of her East London hood.

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Rose Blake is a Royal Academy of Art graduate, whose piece illustrates a write-up of a speed dating evening organised by Metropolitan editor Marie-Noelle Bauer (a resounding success, seeing as you ask).

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Spaniard Marina Esmeraldo added graphic punch to the magazine’s Style section.

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Also illustrating the Style section is Joanna Ham‘s ghostly, elegant silhouette.

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Another print by Marina Esmeraldo is a portrait to accompany an interview with Kim Jones, the Brit who heads up the menswear design team at Louis Vuitton in Paris.

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The work of South London printmaker Claudia Borfiga is used on the opener to Omnivore, the magazine’s food & drink section – with, presumably (I haven’t seen it yet) features stories on puppy dogs in slurppy cups, burgers with antlers and purple lobsters.

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Rose Stallard is the London-based creative director and co-founder of Print Club and her rock’n’roll print opens Metropolitan‘s listings section.

Overall it’s a very cool collaboration and a brilliantly creative response to a client’s request to do something special for their birthday. Certainly beats cake and a cup of tea. (Posted by AndrewH)

The September issue

The forthcoming September issue of Metropolitan is, of course, a fashion special. For the cover and main fashion shoot, art director Adriano Cattini took off to an eerie bit of coast-land down at Denge near Dungeness in Kent where there are the concrete remnants of World War II ‘listening ears’. These were early-warning acoustic mirrors designed to amplify the sound of incoming aircraft. Long abandoned and overgrown, they now look like a set from Doctor Who.

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For more on the background to this weird place, see here.

Anyway, snakes and other alarmingly wild wildlife notwithstanding, the shoot was excellent, providing not one, not two, not three, but four different covers, all of which will be available on a Eurostar train near you throughout the month of September.

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The last two covers form a pair:

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And below are the interior pages.

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The photographer was Ben Knight; stylist Hope Lawrie; hair & make-up Marlene Andersson; model Honey at Elite; and sci-fi consultant Alison Cattini. (Posted by AndrewH)