This week The fifth issue of The Green Soccer Journal is published, featuring a smart new design. Here, Adam Towle, who along with James Roper founded the journal, looks ahead at the week and discusses the design changes.
Where are you today?
I’m in our office that Nirvana Creative Production House kindly rent to us, situated between Old Street and Angel.
What can you see from the window?
I can see the canal—we feel pretty privileged to have the opportunity to base ourselves here, especially during the summer months.
How many emails are waiting in your inbox?
What’s your favourite magazine this morning?
I don’t have one this morning. We’ve only just released the 5th issue of the GSJ so I’m off anything magazine like for a couple of weeks. I’m currently reading ‘Playing for Keeps’ by David Halberstam which is a book about Michael Jordan and his surrounding World – it’s providing me with a lot of inspiration with regards to how a profile should/could be constructed.
Who’s your one favourite player, and why?
This question leads back to my Derby County heydays when we were a Premier League mid-table force during the 90s. My favourite player from that time was Igor Stimac (current Croatian national team coach). He’s the only player’s name that I had printed on a shirt and the only player’s autograph that I really wanted. I remember waiting for the players to arrive at the Baseball Ground, the final season before it was demolished and I plucked up the courage to ask him for his autograph, the first and last time I ever did that. He denied me! He said he was running late for a team meeting—a real low point for me. I don’t hold it against him though he’s still my favourite player.
How do you recommend the football fanatic should cope with this long, football-free summer?
Read The Green Soccer Journal 5, which should keep you going until the start of the season and perhaps beyond that.
Talk us through the thinking behind the design and format changes in the new issue of GSJ
We sat down after issue 4 and decided that it was time to try and reach the next level of what we perceive a magazine to be. We wanted the reader to have a more complete experience, hence doubling the page count. Bi-annuals need to have the legs to support a 6 month shelf life and we didn’t feel like we were fulfilling that duty with the previous issues. Having said, we couldn’t have possibly created more content from the last 4 issues. The most difficult aspect of what we do is trying to get exclusive time with the players and for an independent magazine like ours we didn’t have a lot of sway when competing with national newspapers and bigger football titles. All the player access we were previously granted was down to a lot of work from the 3 of us (James Roper, my business partner and co-founder and Thomas Reynolds, our assistant) and help from the sports brands, who have placed a lot of faith into what we do. Issue 5 is the result of all the previous graft and the faith bestowed upon us.
With regards to the design changes the most distinctive and obvious one is the cover. The new logo (above right) is bolder and deliberately more masculine. Hopefully, as a result it will have more of a presence on the news-stand. The cover lines are an attempt at being a little more mature and trying to fit in with the heavy weight independents, it makes the magazine look a little more approachable and a little less precious, which is why we opted for a gloss finish to the cover stock. We want readers to interact with the magazine and not feel like you can’t pick it up and place it in your bag ready for a commute, etc. However, we do still feel like this is a high-end product and we retained that quality through the paper choices and also through the support the layout provides for all the beautiful imagery. Finally, the illustration that sits behind the image of Ashley Cole is something we have introduced to give each issue its own personality and also to give The Green Soccer Journal its own personality, it’s an experiment but we feel that once we have applied this practise to issues 6 and 7 and beyond the theme will become better associated with us.
The world of football is apparently full of freeloaders and hangers-on trying to take a percentage of every deal on the table. Have you found that a problem when making GSJ?
No, not at all, Oscar (Chelsea and Brazil midfielder, above) had all his family with him when we were shooting that feature, which appeared nice and whole-some. We took over his flat for a day and he was completely relaxed about it all.
What are you most looking forward to this week?
I am most looking forward to planning our New York Issue 5 launch party. It’s the first time we have had the opportunity to host a party outside of London, so it is a completely new and refreshing challenge.
What are you least looking forward to this week?
Nothing at this moment, all the anxiety has subsided after getting the new issue produced.
What will you be doing after this chat?
Catching up with the 37 emails and trying to get organised for our London issue 5 launch party which is tonight!
See more of the new issue of The Green Soccer Journal on their website.