Friday, 7 December 2012

Escape to a Winter wonderland

Escape the award winning passenger magazine for First Great Western is available in carriages across the south of England, pick up your copy next time you're on board.

34 great Historic Scotland events

The Winter issue of the Historic Scotland Member magazine features Nicholas Parsons, my home town of Linlithgow, seasonal wildlife, fascinating graveyard stories and 34 events for all the family - join up now!

I design the magazine on behalf of Think publishing.

Latest Fly Fishing & Fly Tying covers

Every month I design and help write the cover lines of Fly Fishing & Fly Tying with Editor Mark Bowler.

The latest two covers include easy, tempting flies, essential skills, radical new fishing techniques and the 39 ideas that transformed fly fishing!

Equipped training

Over the last year I've been working with David Riddell and Blair Carrick at Equipped media.

Equipped is a training, resettlement and recruitment magazine aimed at people who are leaving the armed services.

My role has been to complete a full redesign including new logo and train Blair to design the magazine.

The template system is strict but simple so that the pages can be designed quickly and easily. This is Blair's first design job and a major part of my role has been to develop his design skills and get him ready to design the magazine independently.

The latest issue has been designed entirely by Blair so I'm pretty chuffed that he's done such a great job.

Design training and coaching
I run work shops, give talks and one-to-one coaching. If you wish to develop your staff I can be contacted on

Print advert

My full page advert in the PPA Awards brochure.

PPA Scottish Awards brochure

I designed the brochure for the 10th Anniversary 2012 Scottish PPA awards.

Escape wins customer publication of the year

Huge congratulations to the Escape team for winning Customer Publication of the Year at the 2012 CIPR awards. I design Escape, the First Great Western passenger magazine on behalf of Think publishing.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Recent consultancy work

Over the last 6 months I've been consulting on a number of titles at Bauer, including Heat, Car, Land Rover Owner International, Your Horse and Outdoor Fitness.

The work has included coaching design staff, developing news and features, font choice and cover work.

Boots & Spurs: Magazine Cover of the Decade

Matt (middle) receives awards from host Nina Conti

The Winter issue of Boots & Spurs has been voted the best Scottish magazine cover of the decade at the tenth anniversary of the 2012 Scottish Magazine Awards

It won a one-off category prize following a public vote, after judges had drawn up a shortlist of 12 covers from 262 entries. Other entries included Holyrood magazine, The Big Issue and People's Friend.

PPA Scotland business manager, Kathy Crawford Hay said: “The fantastic response we received to the Scottish Magazine Cover of the Decade category and the wonderful support shown by publishers in Scotland is truly overwhelming, and continues to show just how strong the magazine publishing sector is in Scotland."

Other magazines I'm involved with also did well. The Times Educational Supplement Scotland (TESS) was named magazine of the year as well as winning the business and professional magazine of the year. I redesigned TESS in 2011.

The Biologist, published by Think won business & professional magazine design, I designed the pitch that helped win the contract for Think.

The Customer Magazine of the year was awarded to Escape, the First Great Western passenger magazine. I design Escape on behalf of Think publishing.

The cover of Boots & Spurs was illustrated by Garry Marshall and we are both absolutely thrilled to win. We'd like to thank everyone who voted, the response was overwhelming.

Talks and workshops

I've recently given two talks, helped run a cover workshop at the PPA's Magfest and run a design workshop at Bauer's Peterborough Offices.

The Magfest cover workshop was held in Edinburgh and included professional designers and members of the public working together in a hands-on design master-class.

During the workshop teams were led by industry experts to design magazine covers, with each team competing to produce the best cover at the end of the session.

Along with Jeremy Leslie and Andrew Losowsky I also gave a brief introductory talk outlining the key elements of a successful cover.

My team (above) included  Chiara Pannozzo, Riona McElfatrick, Ryan Law, Cate Sutton and Jane Massey

Bauer Design Workshop
Bauer asked me to run a workshop for their editorial designers.

I combined talks on cover and feature design, including a number of case studies with quick paced workshops where the designers could develop their magazine craft.