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Ruth Sykes, educator and graphic designer

Ruth Sykes, educator and graphic designer

As well as teaching and lecturing at London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins art school, Ruth Sykes runs Regdesign graphic design studio in partnership with Emily Wood. Earlier this year, Ruth also curated CSM’s A+ exhibition of 100 Years of Visual Communication by Women, which gave her the opportunity to rifle through her magazine collection for treasures to put on display.


Today, Ruth shares some more of her mags with us: we asked her to choose a new issue, an old issue, and another thing she especially admires.


A new issue: Ladybeard, Issue 1, 2015
I love Ladybeard magazine – it’s feminist but for everyone, not prescriptive, just giving you ideas, not the how to achieve perfection rubbish. It’s art directed by Bronya Meredith and Scarlet Evans. Scarlet only graduated from Central Saint Martins, where I teach, a couple of years ago. Always one to watch, she won Sony student photographer of the year when she was in her third year.


An old issue: Spare Rib, Issue 7, 1973
I admire feminist magazine Spare Rib magazine now although I hated it when I was a kid and my mum read it – so embarrassing having to pick up it from the village newsagents, why can't she be like all the other mums and get Women's Weekly? As a parent myself I now completely get why she read it, and I recently had the massive honour of hosting an in-conversation event at Central Saint Martins with the first designers of Spare Rib, Kate Hepburn and Sally Doust. Kate still works as a graphic designer and Sally is now an art historian. Every copy of Spare Rib magazine from the 70s to the 90s has been digitised and is free to browse on the British Library website. What a great achievement to have your work preserved like that and woven into British history.


And another thing: Sunday Times Magazine, 1978
This is a story about food in prisons from the Sunday Times Magazine, which I read avidly from the age of eight to 18 until I left home. It was like a second education. I have found out some life-changing things inside weekend newspaper colour sections over the years. According to our paper boy we were the only family in on his paper round who had a ‘big’ Sunday paper and the extra weight really pissed him off, but it was worth the social ostracisation to find out about the outside world (there was no internet in those days). I am very lucky to have access to an amazing collection of magazines at CSM, where I found this.

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