Cover & editorial design

“Independence is a book about magazines and yet it contains almost no images of magazines. Instead of page after page of delicious editorial spreads, we get thumbnails of a handful of covers, some nice full-bleed portraits, and a whole lot of text. Why? Because this is not a book about magazine design; it’s a book about the behind-the-scenes, nitty gritty of magazine making. From getting started to getting paid, it covers everything you ever wanted to know about successful indie publishing, told from the perspective of 12 of the UK’s leading indie mag makers, including WRAP, Print Isn’t Dead, The Gourmand, Intern, Cereal, Delayed Gratification, and more.” — Words by Ruth Jamieson, AIGA Eye on Design

During the Pick Me Up festival at Somerset House in London, Jeremy Leslie interviewed 12 independent magazine makers. Initially conceived as a one-off series of live events, the resulting recordings have been edited together for this limited-run book published by Magculture.

12 different front cover designs were designed and printed, each based on the front cover of one of the featured magazines:
Rob Alderson, Printed Pages
Rosa Park, Cereal Magazine
Danielle Pender, Riposte
David Lane, The Gourmand Magazine
Polly Glass, Wrap Magazine
John L Walters, Eye Magazine
Cathy Olmedillas, Anorak Magazine
Danny Miller, Weapons of Reason
Alec Dudson, Intern Magazine
Rob Orchard, Delayed Gratification
Marcroy Smith, Print Isn’t Dead
Steve Watson, Stack

Much is rightly made of the creativity and invention that go into the magazines, but these conversations focus on the tougher everyday reality of making your own magazine. They add up to a unique resource, an essential record of this particular period in publishing, a time where many of these projects are growing beyond their DIY roots to become serious businesses.

Why did these people launch a magazine now? What day are the day-to-day challenges do they face? What is the toughest part of the role? What is success? Is independence on its own a trait that matters?


Creative direction by Jeremy Leslie
Transcription and sub-editing by Madeleine Morley
Portrait photography by Ian Pierce