Issue six of Riposte has just landed, and fans of the publication will have noticed that the new split covers represent a significant shift when it comes to design. In 2015, the stripped-back, text-heavy covers that we all know well caught the eye of The Design Museum and the publication was nominated for a Design of the Year; Riposte has become a favourite of editorial design connoisseurs ever since. For issue six though, editor Danielle Pender and art director Shaz Madani decided to shake things up. The first deep red cover continues in the text-heavy tradition; the second photographic one featuring Claire Barrow is more conventionally news-stand on the other hand.
“We just wanted to develop the magazine,” says Danielle when asked about the choice of having two fronts. “We've changed the inside format with each issue and we wanted to look at what we could do with the cover. The text cover really reflects what we stand for – that we’re more interested in what women have to say and they've done than what they look like – but we wanted to see what else we could do that was still inline with our ethos.”
Another important reason that Danielle and Shaz opted for a photographic alternative is that they felt aware that they needed to appeal to new readers and grow their audience. “Does a text cover alienate people who don’t know what we’re about?” Danielle asks. “The split cover run seemed like a good experiment.”
So far, reactions have been positive. “Some people have questioned why we’re doing it though, which is to be expected,” says Danielle. “The text cover has been slightly more popular with our online pre-orders. These are a lot of loyal readers who probably want to carry on with a set of covers and I love that. It’ll be interesting to see how sales go in store and how new readers react to it.”
Today on the journal we released our very first magCulture podcast, the magCast. Danielle was one of our guests on the show, so you can hear her talk more about what you can expect from issue six there.