At work with: Richard Turley, Bloomberg Businessweek

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In late 2009 Richard Turley left London and his job at The Guardian to move to New York and relaunch Bloomberg Businessweek alongside new editor Josh Tyrangiel. The new magazine quickly became one of the most fêted editorial design projects of our time, its bold use of  typography, illustration and infographics reinvigorating the newsweekly. We look ahead at the week as he completes a special edition of the magazine.

Where are you today?

At this exact moment on the 1 train, just left 14th St heading to Times Square where I’m changing trains. When I get to work I’ll be in 731 Lexington Avenue. Just next next to Bloomingdales, up from Whole Foods, along from Zara, a little bit away from Diesel, nowhere near anything good to eat at all

What can you see from the window?
People undressing in the window of the sample sale shop over the road, oblivious to us all laughing and pointing at them.

How many emails are waiting in your inbox?
3,143. But that number has been building since 2008. I dont actually get that many emails. Of the emails I have that actually need attention. I have about one, this one from you.


What’s your favourite magazine this morning?
I just bought the new Kid’s Wear, the Baldessari cover of Garage, and the September issues of Dazed and Interview. I want to get the new Purple magazine, but its not arrived here yet.

Of those my favourite is Kid’s Wear. No real reason, just is. I find it difficult to talk about magazines without sounding like a fool, but what I love most about Mike Meire (he does Garage too) is he gives his magazines a voice. It sounds so obvious, but its the most important ingredient to a good magazine, and one that tends to get a bit forgotten.

The Cover Trail column detailing the BBW cover creation process each week is very revealing, but almost makes it look too easy! How long does the cover usually take to create, from concept to execution?
Covers can take anywhere between about 15 minutes and a month, depending on when I get to hear about what the cover is and how quickly we get an idea Josh and me like – or at least don’t hate that much. Sometimes it”s easy. The Cover Trail is our attempt at honing a story that often isn’t interesting into something umm.. interesting. In all honesty the process every week would be more truthfully distilled into: (1) We make a lot of covers (2) We like some more than others (3) We then pick one of those.


What’s your favourite part of BBW – a design detail, a little-known fact, a colleague…?
I love everyone the same. Though Cindy Hoffman (our design director) is the one I couldn’t live without. Gossip wise: David Carthas (our photo director) has nothing in his fridge at home except half a pack of butter and some beer I brought round 2 months ago. Tracy Ma (assistant creative director) has spent the last 6 weeks researching a dress for a party shes going to next month – she still hasn’t bought one. Chris Nozenzo (designer) spends his nights making entirely black pictures on Photoshop. Lee Wilson (designer) once came third in the Bloomberg staff party dance hip-hop dance competition. Evan Applegate (graphics) looks like Edward Snowden’s twin brother. Is this interesting?


What was the last thing your editor said to you?

“I’m escaping from the office now. Don’t tell anyone else”


What are you most looking forward to this week?
I’ve been working most of this weekend on a special issue we’re doing marking the fifth anniversary of the Lehman collapse, so I’ll be looking forward to that leaving our office on Wednesday followed by a period of proactive inactivity for a few days.



When you put this weeks’ issue to bed who would be your dream dinner/drinking partner?

Tyler Brûlé, Editor-in-chief and Chairman, Monocle (London); Joerg Koch, Editor and Creative director, 032c (Berlin); Omar Sosa, Co-founder and Art director, Apartamento (Barcelona) and Patrick Waterhouse, Editor-in-chief, Colors (Treviso), plus others tbc.

What are you least looking forward to this week?
Probably that moment late at night the day before we send the magazine where you realise things aren’t working and were going to make it all up again.

What will you be doing after this chat?
Finishing the subway journey I’m typing this on. Currently I’m sitting next to a woman in sunglasses (why? why? I mean WHY?) and someone struggling to read a print edition of the New York Times who keeps elbowing me in the face. I’ll then get off the train, go to Starbucks and stand in a needlessly long queue, the server won’t understand my accent so I’ll get the wrong coffee, I then won’t be able to find my pass to get into the Bloomberg building, will get my bag trapped in the lift doors, have a few people tut disapprovingly at me, and thus my day will begin.

Richard Turley is one of the speakers at our Modern Magazine conference in London on 16 October. Details here.

The special Lehmans issue accompanies a video made by the magazine to be debuted on Netflix. Watch the trailer here.

www.businessweek.com

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