Monthly Archives: March 2013

Today’s Pop Art

Regular readers of this blog will know I’m a big fan of the Big Issue covers produced by Editor Paul McNamee and his fine Art Editor Mark Neil. But this surely is their best yet.

Less of a cover, and more of a poster, this a piece of proper Pop Art. Dr. Who and Easter, in a blender, served up with a bubblegum 50’s pastiche. Bright colours are absolutely essential for the Big Issue. The job of the cover is not only to attract the eye, but more importantly, make sure the customer does not look away.

The content has to be compulsive, and this totally is. Doctor Who may be the only media property who’s appeal genuinely extends from six to seventy, but you still need to give the reader something new. Rumours and revelations?, OK, here’s my money.

There’s smart scale on the images, resisting the urge to make the Doctor the hero, selling instead his glamorous assistant. But it’s surely the colour palette that’s the winning card here. To use that much yellow and pink, and produce something that cool is a master stroke.

This is Mark’s penultimate cover before he leaves to join the NME as their new art editor. I shall be fascinated to see how he manages the likes of Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and the rest of it. Good luck to him!

For those interested, here’s the post on the Big Issue’s hashtag strategy, and here is the story of how to sell a cover when it’s free.

Five must-see, must-read links

Best comment yet on Levenson, by Rafael Behr at the New Statesman. Thanks to Adliterate for the link.

‘Pathetic and pointless’. Brilliant defence of ad agency planners here. Good comments too.

Great story from Adbusters on how digital media is shrinking our minds. Or not.

First sight of Luke Hayman’s work on the legendary Stern. It looks good, but there’s no cover yet. That’s what I want to see!

The Editor of Esquire appears to have lost his mind

Dyslexic? This font can change your life

Typography is a pretty dark art at the best of times, but this new font blew me away. My ten year old son Olly, who is dyslexic, wrote about it on his blog, proving not for the first time, that he knows more than his dad.

The font has been specially weighted to stop the letters flipping over and spinning around, which what happens when dyslexics read regular type, no matter how pretty the kerning.

You can download it for free at, with no restrictions on its use outside of attribution. The Daily Mail online will never look the same again…