The latest issue of It’s Nice That’s magazine Printed Pages sports a cover created by illustrator-of-the-moment Edel Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has been working as a designer since the nineties but has hit the news recently with a string of powerful anti-Trump illustrated covers for newsweeklies across the world. Many are featured alongside an interview in the issue; his signature style is a super-direct, simple caricaturing that leaves little room for doubt about the message. After speaking to him about the power of the viral front cover, it seemed natural to add a cover commission to the interview.
He prepared a number of roughes for the cover. ‘We explored many ideas and executions,’ says It’s Nice That senior art director Ali Hanson, ‘Different ideas, through to different executions of one idea. This is always the most fascinating part of the process; how to get to a final execution. In the end I felt we landed on the execution that had most clarity in communicating what’s so fascinating about the work Edel has made for magazine covers in recent years; his ability to make an image that captures the attention of so many people.’
It’s a strong idea, a cover about the very act of engaging readers — all those eyeballs are staring at the tiny cover line that reads ‘Made you look’ — but a curious one. Aside from some rough detailing in the work, it’s notably atypical of the work Rodriguez had been producing recently.
‘The final design is a reaction to the viral impact Edel’s work has had in the last couple of years,’ Ali continues. ‘We wanted to find a playful mechanic to communicate this. We also wanted to use elements of a cover to help relate the idea back to the medium Edel works with. A mass focus of eyes looking at a cover line felt like the natural brief for Edel to respond to.’
It also harks back to the very first Printed Pages cover from Spring 2013 (above).
As well as Rodriguez, the issue includes interviews with a typically broad range of subjects, including stage designer Es Devlin, Sagmeister & Walsh, street photographer Joel Meyerowitz, artist Eddie Peake, New Yorker cartoonist Joost Swarte and designer/activist Anne Lund, creator of anti-nuclear symbol The Smiling Sun.