Some times in life stuff just works out...
Earlier in the year I was at Gatwick North Terminal heading out for some spring training in Majorca with a few close friends. We had checked in and I had spent the past 15 minutes at the bar trying to get the first (of a few!) holiday beers in. Just as I reached the front of the queue my mobile rang. I reluctantly answered the call with a brusque "yes, who is it?". I very quickly changed my tone and abandoned the bar for a quite spot since the caller turned out to be Ian Cleverley, Editor of Rouleur magazine. Would I like to stand in for Rob Johnston, the Art Director, for a few weeks as he was away on paternity leave? Did I ever, so having had one of the best cycling trips ever in Puerto Pollensa I had a few weeks work lined up at my favourite magazine on my return.
It's a really small team that produces the magazine from its Bermondsey Street, London office, which I always prefer. Much less design by committee that way. Ian, who is now the executive editor, and new editor Andy McGrath were great to work with. They put up with endless questions from me and were very open to design ideas as long as they fitted in with the magazines look and feel which is what I tried to do
The issue I was working on was the October Vuelta edition featuring a look back over Miguel Indurains career, beautiful shots of last years Vuelta by Marshall Kappel and Dutch Olympic and world title holder Leontien van Moorsel. Many hours were spent looking through fantastic archive shots of Indurain supplied by renowned cyclosport library Offside/L'Equipe. Indurain made the front of Rouleurs retail cover and the more arty and less obvious subscribers version, which features no text.
It's interesting that the retail version of the magazine is about 70% the size of the subscribers version. This used to be a real issue as Rob would have to make two completely versions of the mag for each format since they were different proportions; a king-sized headache for any designer! Rob has subsequently made the two versions in pro so now just has to output the print ready PDF's at a smaller size.
When the finished magazine dropped through the letterbox a week or so ago I was unusually apprehensive as it's the first time I have freelanced on a magazine that I wasn't the Art Director of, especially as I wasn't there for the last production week. Still I needn't have worried; Rob had picked up a few style points that I had missed but generally the magazine got printed as I had designed it. A big thanks to Rob, as I'm sure a lot of other Art Directors with bigger ego's could have come back and changed a lot of the design. He didn't and I hope my work has blended in well with the normal design of the magazine.
Overall it was a great few weeks to be working on a beautiful magazine with some really cool people and I actually got to watch a lot of the Tour de France while I was doing it. Not bad, not bad at all!