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Hole & Corner #16
Cover story

Hole & Corner #16

The latest issue of Hole & Corner sports a smart new approach to its cover. After 15 issues of still life photography, a set of four illustrations give the cover of the 16th edition a warmer feel that suits the magazine’s focus on craft and craftmanship.

The 15 preceding issues were certainly consistent, something most magazines aspire to, but from a retail point of view what had been strength was becoming a weakness, something Mark Hooper acknowledged when I spoke to him recently. ‘We just thought we’d mix the cover treatment up a bit after five years,’ he said, ‘we looked at all sorts of ideas from text-only to illustrated’.

Instead of subtle photography on a white background (see the first issue, above), the new covers use full bleed illustration in warm, earthy tones that highlight the issue’s theme, Nest. Artist Charlotte Taylor, a student at Chelsea Art School was commissioned to create four pieces that showed a different time of the day at home. She tells the full story on the magazine’s website; the key element is the different light of the various times.

As is so often the case, illustration proves to be bolder than photography, allowing other elements to be toned down. The logo treatment remains the same but is reduced considerably and moved to the right, against all perceived wisdom but effective in the type of shop the magazine sells. As in recent issues, the theme title is announced clearly but further coverlines are presented more clearly at the bottom of the page rather than vertically up the side.

It’s great to see a magazine successfully ringing the changes like this. There are so many indie mags with stark white covers that the approach is losing its effectiveness. Hole & Corner’s new approach gives the magazine a greater clarity and repositions it as a warm, friendly publication that feels far more contemporary than before. I’m fascinated to see where they go from here.

Creative director: Sam Walton
Editor: Mark Hooper
Managing editor: Jossy Smalley

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