• Client

    RPS
  • Role

    Content, Magazine, Email, Commercial
  • Platforms

    Print, Email, Online
  • Project URL

    rps.org

How do you make a 167-year-old magazine feel fresh?

How do you make a 167-year-old magazine feel fresh and contemporary? That was the question we asked ourselves at the end of 2019 when we started planning the relaunch of the world’s oldest photography magazine: the Journal of the Royal Photographic Society (launched in 1853). We knew we wanted to give the magazine a new look that celebrated its heritage but more than that we wanted to make the RPS Journal a celebration of photography. Not just the images that line the walls of galleries and exhibitions but photographs that span the entire history of the art. We wanted to give images room to breathe, allow space for in-depth journalism and introduce readers to artists that were new to them. We didn’t want the RPS Journal to be ‘just another photography magazine’.

Editor Katheen Morgan worked closely with the team at the Society and its army of trustees to create a new look with its own identity, both visually and in the journalism that it features. By changing the frequency of the RPS Journal from monthly to bi-monthly, increasing the page count and adopting a new size we built a magazine that feels fresh and vibrant.

 

In the July/August issue we secured an exclusive career-spanning interview with David Bailey using the extended page count to display the photographer’s iconic images – from Michael Caine resplendent in his trademark 60s glasses to a cheekily smiling Her Majesty The Queen. This issue also includes a feature on a historic image with very contemporary resonances, Dorothea Lange’s celebrated Depression-era photograph ‘Migrant Mother’, plus features on science imaging and cutting-edge images from recent graduates.

 

New design rules were introduced that elevate the images: photographs are presented cleanly with more white space to give them impact and a ‘gallery’ environment. Designer John Pender instigated the rule that the photography will not be cropped or obscured in any way to keep the original intention of the photographer intact and to give the images more impact.


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