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:


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.


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


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)

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.

APEX, February 2013

bSpirit, Jan-Feb 2013, relaunch issue

bthere, August 2012

easyJet Traveller, December 2012, the knitted cover

Germanwings, 2013, April-May-June 2013

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

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

Jetaway_Keith Lemon
JetAway, July-August 2012, the big lemon issue

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

Metropolitan, April 2013, the sexy lips issue

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

Privatair, Winter 2012, the Six Feet Under issue

Thomas Cook Travel, summer 2013, the ice lolly issue

Voyager, August 2012, the Paul Merton issue

Wizz, April-May 2013, the Warsaw burger issue

Posted by AndrewH

A shining example

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There has been a terrific crop of covers coming out of the Ink London office this month. We had easyJet Traveller‘s custom-baked Great British cake and then n by Norwegian‘s hospitalised Scream (see previous posts for both). Now comes Metropolitan‘s neon lips. The lips were an existing piece that art director Christos Hannides spotted when he paid a visit to the workshop of neon artist Chris Bracey (see below). Chris, who has made film-set pieces for Stanley Kubrick and Tim Burton, also did many of the signs for the girly joints and strip clubs of Soho, the subject of the magazine’s cover story. As well as allowing us to borrow his lips, he also custom-made the Metropolitan masthead in neon. Next month, Ryanair magazine constructs its cover from the pelt of baby otters. (Posted by AndrewH)


Here’s Leeeeeeeeeon!

Leon Borja of Hawksmoor. Photo by Phil Fisk

Meet Leon Borja, age 29. He’s a sous chef at Hawksmoor, on Air Street in London’s West End. Art director Christos and I met him the other week as part of a series of chefs with tattoos being photographed for the Eurostar magazine, Metropolitan. Leon has a huge steak covering his chest; to be precise, a T-bone steak, which, he told us, is his favourite cut of beef. The steak also happens to be roughly shaped like Brazil, which is where Leon comes from. Down his right arm are various fruits and vegetables in yellow and green (the colours of the Brazilian flag); on his left upper arm are sprigs of basil and rosemary (two herbs that grew in his grandmother’s garden) and a bottle of Tabasco. Leon loves Tabasco: “If I could, I’d put Tabasco in everything. And I love Bloody Marys”. Immediately after the shoot, he was heading up to Camden to get a new tattoo around his navel: “This will be the one where it all comes together”.

We could have filled a whole magazine with pictures of Leon and his tattoos, but we met a bunch of other chefs too (that’s Lee Tiernan, head chef at St John Bread & Wine, below), all of whom were photographed by the talented yet charming Phil Fisk – check out his mind-blowing Circus series here. You can see the results in the forthcoming February issue of the magazine. (Posted by AndrewH)

Lee Tiernan of St John Bread & Wine. Photo by Phil Fisk