Big catch

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The team narrowly missed out last year to Slimming World but last night n by Norwegian was named as Customer Magazine of the Year in the prestigious 2015 PPA awards. This is a huge accolade as these are the most prestigious awards in the UK magazine publishing industry. Norwegian beat out a shortlist that included British Airway’s High LifeWaitrose Kitchen and Slimming World. Winners in other categories on the night included Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Porter Magazine, Jamie and The Big Issue, so we’re in good company. Former Ink employee Darren Endicott was awarded Designer of the Year (Business Media) for his work on Professional Manager magazine. Well earned congratulations to Toby Skinner, Rickard Westin, Mandi Keighran, Omer Ali and Regina Wolek. (Posted by AndrewH)

There, there, my deer

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The cover of this month’s n by Norwegian had my wife in fits of giggles. But the behind-the-scenes shots are pretty funny too.

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Above, art director Rickard Westin and model.

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Photographer Liz McBurney.

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Below, the alternative cover that might have been.

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(Posted by AndrewH)

Gran rules

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The cover story for September’s N by Norwegian is that old chestnut, modern Spanish cuisine, elBulli and all that. Except it’s not. In a novel twist, Alicante-based writer Trevor Baker (author of the official book of I’m A Celebrity. . .Get Me Out Of Here!) bypasses the chefs and their restaurants in favour of meeting the people who literally gave birth to the phenomenon, the mothers and grandmothers. Photographer Rafa Galan did a series of portraits of the actual ladies interviewed for the interior pages, but the cover was shot in a studio in London by Ink-regular Liz McBurney, art directed by Rickard Westin. The model, Gilly Daniels of Source Models, was obviously totally game – Metropolitan got four covers out of its recent shoot (see previous post) but Norwegian could have had twice as many, as you can see below. A tip of the hat to the client too, Norwegian, for having the courage to put an elderly (and belligerent) woman on its cover.  (Posted by AndrewH)

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You want me to do what with that fish?

If there is a society for cruelty to models then Ink may now feature on its warning list. The reason? The cover shoot for the latest issue of N by Norwegian, which involved art director Rickard Westin rolling half of a herring into a condom and having a model take it into her mouth. Kudos to the airline for going along with the idea, although they did reject a full frontal image because they thought it was a bit kinky.

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Model: Nicky Connolly from MOT Models. Photographer: Liz McBurney

In Ink’s defence, the model’s discomfort was a lot less than editor Toby Skinner’s, who wrote the story on surströmming (fermented Baltic herring), which is reckoned to be, as the cover suggests, the world’s smelliest food. Look it up on YouTube and three videos on the first page contain ‘vomit alerts’. In one of them, a retching Daily Telegraph journalist describes the smell as being like ‘rotting dog faeces’. So, of course, Toby had to spread some on a sandwich and eat it – but only after rising at 2.30am to go fishing off the coast of Sweden and following the catch to the gutting tables, where interviews were conducted over bins of bloodied heads. The resulting story, previewed below, is in the forthcoming August issue of the magazine. Sadly it was too expensive to do a scratch-and-sniff. (Posted by AndrewH)

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Second only to slimming

Last Thursday, 10 July, Rickard Westin, art director of N by Norwegian, and myself, the magazine’s editor, went to the PPA Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel and just about succeeded in not disgracing ourselves. The PPA for those who don;t know is the Professional Publishers Assocation and it is the UK’s grand publishing body.

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It was a really fun night, if slightly more formal than the BSME Awards. Claudia Winkelman was a lively if slightly too polished presenter; there was a warm, funny video piece about the eccentric late publisher Felix Dennis; and a nice speech from Michael Heseltine, who was very amusing on Felix Dennis. Otherwise, think distinguished gentlemen in tuxedos and 45-quid bottles of house wine – though horrifyingly, no goodie bags.

A nice touch was that winners were serenaded by personalised theme songs – business columnist of the year Sally Donovan, for example, got a bit of ‘So Sally can wait’ from Oasis. Sadly we never got to hear a snatch of Norwegian Wood. However, we were compensated by the honour of being “highly commended” (ie second) in the Customer Magazine of the Year.

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We were beaten, incidentally, by the almighty Slimming World, a juggernaut of real-life weight loss stories (we were too distracted to hear their song). Would you rather read about how to lose three stone in six weeks or about bull’s testicle whips and severed fish heads (all in the August issue of N by Norwegian)? Actually, don’t answer that. (Posted by Toby Skinner)

Norwegian noted

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The excellent It’s Nice That design website has a post up about the illustrations David Sparshott produced for N by Norwegian magazine to accompany a story on the return to service of a luxurious private train that once belonged to Yugoslavia’s Marshall Tito. Conceived by art director Rickard Westin and editor Toby Skinner, the commission involved illustrating over the top of photographs of the train interiors. (Posted by AndrewH)

Hey, big nose!

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In advance of the announcement of the winner of Ink London’s best cover of the last 12 months (see previous post), here’s a contender for next year’s awards, the very fleshy cover of the July issue of n by Norwegian. It links to a story on Grasse, the world centre of perfume – although these days its laboratories are as likely to be producing scents for Proctor & Gamble or Nestlé as Chanel. Also in this issue, an excellent essay on the search for solitude in travel by self-proclaimed specialist in boredom Kevin Rushby (it starts, he says, with turning off your mobile phone); plus eating insects, the New York Nordic food matrix, wildlife spotting at Chernobyl and Norway’s pizza addiction. You can now read all of n by Norwegian online by visiting the airline’s website and following the link. (Posted by AndrewH)

It’s a Scream

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All three n by Norwegian covers to date have been excellent, but the clever, clever photo illustration that graces issue 4 is the wittiest yet. The story, by excellent foreign correspondent-cum-rock critic Andrew Mueller, concerns the theft of Edward Munch’s The Scream from Oslo’s Munch Museum. Following a particularly cunning plan, the thieves walked in, took the painting off the wall, walked out again with it, got in a car and drove away. It was then hidden for a time in the Batmobile-themed tour bus of a well-known drag racer. Seriously. When the painting was recovered two years later it was in a sorry state, as if its captors placed no value on it, and n by Norwegian goes on to tell the story of its restoration, hence the cover. The concept was art director Rickard Westin’s (top right, below), the photography by Liz McBurney. (posted by AndrewH)

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