LARPing around

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There’s a great read in the new August issue of easyJet Traveller by Vicky Lane, about the weekend she spent LARPing (that’s Live Action Role Playing) – basically fancy dress in a field for adults.

“So, here they are and it’s an awesome sight. Around 400 creatures – scaly beings clutching spiked staffs, elf-like beauties with bows and arrows, armoured knights swinging broadswords – clash with the 400-strong enemy army, who snarl from a fort in the centre of the battlefield. It’s as though Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars have all been mashed into one epic finale. At least, it would be, if it weren’t for the nervous dog walkers scurrying past, a reminder that this fantasy setting is very much in the real world.”

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The photos are by Carlotta Cardana. (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)

High-concept covers

The easyJet Traveller team continues to make life as difficult as possible for itself by attempting to make each monthly cover ‘high concept’. To date we’ve had…

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the 3D print out cover…

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the knitted jumper cover…

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the graffiti cover…

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the cake cover…

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the food map cover…

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the let’s make our own board game cover…

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the custom-made toy cover…

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…and the Usain Bolt cobbled together from rubbish cover.

For March the story that needed illustrating was about creating the perfect family holiday, which, of course, starts with crayons, string and glue.

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It’s a lovely piece of work. Art director Mat Wiggins has a real talent for sourcing appropriate illustrators that carries throughout the magazine. Also inside this issue are fun spot illustrations by Ryan Chapman livening up an airline-requested explanation of what happens when you drop your spare foreign coinage in the seatback charity bag:

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Ryan’s got previous with easyJet Traveller having supplied illustrations for the magazine’s food column in the past (he’s also worked for the likes of Esquire, The Independent on Sunday and The New York Times).

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Illustrating the food column in this month’s easyJet Traveller is brilliant Finnish artist Janne Iivonen:

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Janne has also worked for The Guardian, The Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times and Heineken.

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Also in the mix, illustrating easyJet Traveller‘s business interview, is this portrait, below, by Nick Reddyhoff, executed in a style perfectly suited to its e-commerce pioneering subject.

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(Posted by AndrewH)

Alphabetical disorder

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Hugging a man dressed as a giant blue bunny while watching the sun come up over one of the world’s busiest harbours is a pretty unusual affair. Unless, of course, you’re in Hamburg, where it might just be a weekly occurrence.

Down by the city’s fishmarket on any given Sunday morning you’ll find crowds singing and dancing to the market’s live music, but unusually for an event that’s typically the last stop of an all-nighter for barcrawlers from the nearby party district, it’s a very varied congregation. Families munch fish brotchen from market stalls and early-rising tourists stand about in padded gilets with coffees, as assorted partygoers – including on one particular recent Sunday a small band of very tired, fairly merry journalists – dance the morning happily away.

This May three of our editorial team, along with long-suffering Ink photographer Tim E White, decamped to the Hanseatic city for 92 hours for a very special issue of easyJet Traveller – our first to focus on a single city. Our idea? To find out what makes it tick, and compile a list of 26 unique, alphabetical reasons to love the city.

What transpired was like something out of – for those of you with memories that stretch back to the 80s – Challenge Anneka. From our first appointment, interviewing a Reeperbahn DJ an hour after landing at the airport, we barely stopped for four days, taking in the best of the city’s high-culture, low-culture, nightlife, sport and business offerings to compile our list.

If we’d worried about finding 26 separate things to extol, there was certainly no need. An intellectual’s football team, Germany’s first craft brewery, houses that make their own electricity from algae… all signs we were somewhere pretty special.

Along the way we interviewed more than 20 locals, took three comprehensive tours and totally exhausted our photographer Tim, who confessed he’d never been asked to do a 24-hour shoot before. The result? Four tired, happy people, enough photographs to sink one of the city’s container ships and a struggle to cram in all our passion for the place into just a few pages.

So look out for it in the July issue of easyJet Traveller. Hopefully it will inspire some people to go and see for themselves what a cracking city it is. And if you do happen to reach the fishmarket, say hi to the blue bunny for us. (Posted by Sarah Warwick)

Wet wet wet

The editorial team at n by Norwegian recently went to Svalbard (see here); easyJet Traveller’s Sarah Warwick went to Yorkshire. Nobody ever said life was fair. She knew she probably wasn’t going to like it – she’d been before on a school trip to Malham YHA, aged 11. It had left her with memories of a place that ponged faintly of baked beans and smelly socks, and which was all wet walkers and sodden sheep, where the only thing dry were the stone walls.

So when Yorkshire was named the best destination in Europe at the World Travel Awards last year, and adjudged the “third-best region in the world” (whatever that means) by Lonely Planet, obviously Sarah was going to have to go back.

Her account of encounters with Olympians, anorak-clad hikers and overly sensitive city councilors (“Every city has bad bits”) makes the drizzly but pointed front cover of this month’s magazine.

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(Posted by AndrewH)

Quote of the month…

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Without a doubt, this comes from an interview with Britain’s greatest living explorer™ Ranulph Fiennes, conducted by Sarah Warwick for the current issue of easyJet Traveller:

When I sawed the end of my fingers off it was in a garden shed on Exmoor and my wife was bringing me cups of tea. I had to go down to the village and got a micro saw because the one I had kept getting stuck.”

In the same interview we also learn that back in 1970 Fiennes got into the last six auditioning for the role of James Bond, but one of the others was a bloke called Roger Moore.

By the way, sorry for the paucity of posts recently but I’ve been away a bit. Normal service should now resume. (Posted by AndrewH)

 

Whoohoo!

Held last night at the Hilton on Park Lane, the annual BSME awards is the Oscars of the British magazine publishing world. All the great and good of the industry come out to slap each other on the back. This year, among the inevitable line-up of mags from the likes of Conde Nast, Associated Newspapers, Hearst and Bauer, Ink received a record three nominations. And, on the night, two of those were winners.

Congratulations to Chris Deacon, who beat off competition from a strong field including High Life, the FT Weekend Magazine and titles from Haymarket and Associated Newspapers, among others, to pick up the award for Best Art Director (Consumer titles). And Toby Skinner and Rickard Westin, the team behind n by Norwegian, won Launch of the Year beating out the Mail on Sunday’s Event and ShortList Media’s Mr Hyde. Although not a winner, congratulations also due to Simon Kurs and the easyJet team for the feat of even being nominated for the very tough category of Best Consumer Magazine.

Do it better (and other sound advice)

October’s easyJet Traveller is a ‘bright ideas’ issue. The cover story features words of wisdom from seven entrepreneurs, innovators and idea generators. They all talk great sense; the portfolio of smart portraits is by photographer Tim E White. (Posted by AndrewH)

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Cities of carrots and card

To illustrate a cover feature on how the East End has become London’s hottest dining spot, the easyJet team commissioned Kyle Bean to fashion a map of the area out of foodstuffs: carrot and celery skyscrapers, broccoli forests, the Dome as a half-orange and, as the skyscraper known as the Gherkin, a gherkin.

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Not to be outdone, over at Let’sGo with Ryanair for their cover this month they tackled not just one, but three cities – Marrakesh, Paris and Venice – modelled in card. In addition to creating the cityscape on the cover, paper artist Helen Friel also constructed a series of individual elements to illustrate the feature inside, from a compass to shop fronts. The results are gorgeous, as you can see for yourself below; you can check out some behind-the-scenes shots at Helen’s blog, as well as further examples of her work. (Posted by AndrewH)

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The Tel Aviv geek scene

There’s a good story in the new easyJet Traveller about the pivotal role cafes are playing in the growth of Tel Aviv’s new media start-ups. I particularly like the place described in the first para:

“Back in the halcyon days of the late 1990s, there was a popular cafe in the heart of Tel Aviv that didn’t sell anything. Aptly named Like Cafe, it offered free glasses of water and charged patrons five shekels to waste away an afternoon. It was a hit, showcasing Tel Aviv’s most salient resource: communal space.”

You can read the rest of the story here once the new issue goes live on 1 September.

What I also love are the gorgeous day/night illustrations commissioned by art director Mat Wiggins, which have been done by Tel Aviv-based Ella Cohen. There’s some more examples of her work below. (Posted by AndrewH)

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And here’s a bit more of her work. (Posted by AndrewH)

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