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Pick Me Up

Dorling Kindersley asked the question, ‘What would a children's encyclopedia be like if you approached it with a magazine sensibility? The answer was ‘Pick Me Up’, a 340-page book aimed at 9-14 year olds that mixes school curriculum subjects with broader relevant issues such as self-identity, the media and celebrity.

The book is organised randomly, ignoring conventions of alphabetical or subject structure to reflect the way our thoughts jump about. Each spread stands alone but is linked to other pages by hyperlink-type hotspots with page references. Thus a spread about international superpowers points the reader to others about the second world war, to India and to skyscrapers.

The design is similarly random. Magazines, board games, computer games, learn-to-read books, maps, diagrams and illustration are all referenced. Everywhere there are questions and statements designed to get the child thinking (‘Imagine a world without words’, ‘Why is the Mona Lisa beautiful?’, ‘What might happen next?’, ‘Was Beethoven a punk?’). Illustration, photography and typography and colour combine to make this a compelling family read. The tone is set by the 3D effect lenticular cover featuring art by eBoy.

‘Pick Me Up’ won ‘Best Editorial Design’ at the Design Week Awards and was voted ‘Best Key Stage 2 Non-Fiction’ winner at the English 4-11 Awards, a unique double for creative director Jeremy Leslie and editor David Roberts.




Keep an eye on the magCulture blog for news of Printout, the independent magazine event curated by Jeremy with Steve from Stack.

Listen to Jeremy’s latest appearance on Monocle24’s The Stack radio show.

Listen to magCulture’s hour of Megazines, recorded live at Pick Me Up 2014 and featuring Steve Watson, Michael Bojkowski, Robert Newman, Kati Krause, Jean Snow and Andrew Losowsky.

Jeremy is co-hosting QVED2015 in Munich, a three-day conference about editorial design, 26–28 February 2015.

Jeremy Leslie’s recent book The Modern Magazine is available from our online shop


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