Out now: Another Escape #9

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After a years break, Bristol-based outdoors/sustainability mag Another Escape returns with a new look.

The issue was ready some time ago; but alongside its preparation, founders Rachel Maria Taylor and Jody Daunton were also working on a redesign of their magazine. ‘We’d got issue nine ready but had already started the redesign, and were excited by that, so postponed the issue til August,’ Rachel told me yesterday, ‘and then the redesign took longer so it was delayed further. It’s been a year in the making, which seems crazy.’

Having designed the first eight issues themselves, Rachel and Jody handed the redesign project to She Was Only, the studio responsible for the design of a number of independent magazines – Intern, Boat and Teeth. ‘In some ways it’s a subtle change,’ Rachel says, ‘we wanted to keep the airiness and space for people to linger. It doesn’t seem super-dramatic to us but other people may find it more different.’

Part of the charm of the previous design was the use of graphic icons to define four categories of story; this was as key to the visual identity as the space and air Rachel describes. But the editorial structure they represented had become too limiting. ‘We were coming up with ideas that wouldn’t fit into the four formats we had. We wanted each story to considered on its own.’

The result is a refreshing rethink; the magazine still looks like Another Escape – regular readers will be reassured by the generous space given to airy, open photography, and the cover and softer logo gently builds on what was there before – but the end of the tight structure and presence of a more experienced design eye means the issue is better-paced, with stories less coralled into sections. The opening letter is typically simple in its directness (above), the text writ large to launch the theme of the issue, Wilderness. The new design leads from there, with an unfussy but efficient use of typography and page furniture. The design brings a new confidence.

Several features lead with illustration, like this one, part of a series, by Grace Helmer.

Another Escape has been hugely popular, striking a chord with readers who relate to the magazine’s mix of outdoor activities, creativity and sustainability. There are a good few indie magazines covering similar areas but not all with the same warmth and friendliness. I can see exactly why Rachel and Jody were prepared to delay the issue to apply the new look sooner – the new design has retained that character but lifted the magazine. The delay was a brave move that has paid off. And fans of the graphic icons can be assured a similar leaf-based device represents the magazine as a whole.

Other recent developments have included the first Another Escape supper club and a series of talks in Bristol. Next up is a new website featuring more content above and beyond the magazine.

anotherescape.com

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