E is for Effort

December sees a major of overhaul of the magazine Ink produces for Ryanair. The client challenged the team to come up with something fresh and different. We took them at their word and what we’ve delivered is a monthly changing A to Z of travel based around the Ryanair network. So out goes the standard short front-of-book items followed by a feature well followed by more short back-of-the-book pieces. Instead the almost the entire magazine is 26 pieces of varying lengths organised by the alphabet. Feratures and shorts are mixed. In the December relaunch issue A is for April Fools, B is for bridge (the Millau Viaduct), H is for hobbit, and so on.

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The letters and stories are all listed out on the contents, alongside the destinations that are linked to each story; the big ticket items are pulled out and highlighted with images and longer write ups.

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The length of each entry is whatever the story merits: some are just an annotated infographic or big picture with an extended caption, as above…

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…others, like the short story that results from the ‘Challenge’ run over several pages.

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It is a perfect format for browsing.

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The cover story falls under G for ‘Give us a kiss’.

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The tone (and text) is generally playful and cheeky…

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…but not forgetting the obligatory smattering of travel porn.

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There’s even room for a man and his dog (under Q for ‘Q&A).

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Difficult letters required a bit of lateral thinking: X is for ‘X Factor’ – does the Sunborn Yacht Hotel have it?

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Z was going to be for ‘Zzzzzs’ ie hotel reviews until somebody learnt of the Latvian word for Christmas tree (Y is also for ‘Yuletide’ of course). What happens next month when the Christmas lexicon disappears in the rearview mirror, we’ll have to wait and see. (Posted by AndrewH)

Cool covers

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I really like the cover of the current Let’s Go with Ryanair. It was done by illustrator Tim McDonagh to accompany a story on the explosion of New York businesses setting up sister venues in London. He also provided art for the story’s opening dps.

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Even better though is the cover for the next issue, a brilliant retro-illo by Bath-based Robert G Fresson that fronts a story promoting the fact that Ryanair flies to no less than four destination airports on Sicily.

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Both covers were commissioned by Ryanair art director and squash-king Jamie Trendall. (Posted by AndrewH)

Let me tell you ’bout my baby

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We (as in me and the rest of my team) don’t always shout enough about Let’s Go with Ryanair. That may be due to our compact size – Let’s Go feels like the baby of the bunch among Ink publications. But a lot of work goes into it and we are particularly happy with our February issue. The cover feature sees writer and comedienne Sophie Black, accompanied by photographer Tim White (Black and White, geddit?), take a trip on which every decision made rides on the throw of the dice – including the choice of Budapest, in the first place (and Luke Rhinehart’s The Diceman isn’t mentioned once). Art director Jamie Trendall nailed a lovely minimalist design for the cover, above, that really makes you want to flip to the story inside straight away.

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Other features in the magazine include a beautiful photo story on the remote Canary island of El Hierro with a lovely treatment from Jamie once again, and something on the seriously happening craft beer scene in Madrid, which benefits from clean and gorgeous illustrations from artist Brett Ryder.

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Add a wealth of social media reader recommendations in the Hotspots section, an excellent guide to Venice during Carnival from former Ink editor Patrick Welch, and a great interview (by dep ed Erin Florio) with London’s secret dining innovators Gingerline and you’ve got a lovely little pocket-sized package. Then again, I am slightly biased. (Posted by Ramsay Short, editor, Let’s Go with Ryanair)

You wait all year for one pink cover…

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More dalliance with the shocking end of the colour palette courtesy of this month’s Let’s Go with Ryanair. The art director is Jamie Trendall, the artist the amazing Stephan Walter; more of his work below. (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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Ink London Creative Awards: Best Cover

Here at Ink London we’re hosting our inaugural annual Creative Awards. One of the two categories is “best cover”. We have 15 magazines up for consideration and each team has been asked to select its favourite cover produced for that title over the last 12 months (July 2012 to June 2013). The nominations are below and the results of our internal voting will be posted first week of July.

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APEX, February 2013

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bSpirit, Jan-Feb 2013, relaunch issue

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bthere, August 2012

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easyJet Traveller, December 2012, the knitted cover

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Germanwings, 2013, April-May-June 2013

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Gulf Life, December 2012, the Paris paper-cut hat

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J Magazine, April-May 2013, the ‘you rang m’lord’ issue

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JetAway, July-August 2012, the big lemon issue

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Let’s Go with Ryanair, June 2013, the hot 25 issue

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Metropolitan, April 2013, the sexy lips issue

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N by Norwegian, April 2013, the Scream in a bed issue

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Privatair, Winter 2012, the Six Feet Under issue

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Thomas Cook Travel, summer 2013, the ice lolly issue

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Voyager, August 2012, the Paul Merton issue

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Wizz, April-May 2013, the Warsaw burger issue

Posted by AndrewH