• Main

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

Graphic Design

Publication: Danielle Pender's new magazine for women is a total ruddy triumph

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Could somebody pass me my exciting new magazine klaxon because new title Riposte has landed and it looks like a bobby-dazzler (maybe betty-dazzler?). Billed as “a smart magazine for women,”it’s the brainchild of KK outlet curator and longtime friend of It’s Nice That Danielle Pender. Several months in the offing, it’s now finally dropped like a really phat beat in a ruddy good dance song (simile for the kids there) and lo and behold it was certainly worth the wait.

Following the format of “five ideas, four meetings, three features, two essays and one icon”, the inaugural issue includes interviews with The New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly and the effervescent Nelly Ben Hayoun among others. But top content needs great design and in calling in the brilliant Shaz Madani to oversee the look and feel, Danielle seems to have hit on a winning formula. Ahead of its official launch, we caught up with her to find out more…

Why did you feel the time was right for a new women’s title? What did you feel was lacking from the women’s sector?

We interviewed Françoise Mouly for our first issue and she said of her publishing venture RAW: “I did it because I wanted to see something like this and it didn’t exist.” This is the same starting point for Riposte.

There are some good magazines out there but I think there should be a broader range of titles, catering to a broader range of interests. I think there needs to be a different approach to how we talk to and about women. Throughout Riposte we’ve tried to bring something positive; to focus on bold, fascinating women who are doing incredible things. To celebrate them for what they’re doing and saying, rather than what they look like. Françoise Mouly is literally the coolest woman in the world but hardly anyone knows about her. She was an architect, a plumber, a printer, she is an authority on graphic art and now she commissions a different artist to create a culturally relevant cover for The New Yorker magazine every single week.

I’m not interested in being negative about what’s out there at the minute as I don’t think we have all the answers either but it does feel like a lot of titles on offer are a bit formulaic, they don’t take enough risks. Women aren’t all the same so why should the magazines on offer be?

  • Cover-1

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_1

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

In terms of readership is this a magazine about women aimed at women or at everyone?

I think you have to set your stall out clearly so that people understand what you’re about but in the same way as I read Port or The Rig Out, or more male orientated titles like Modern Matter, I hope that men pick up Riposte.

It isn’t written from an exclusively female perspective. Gender-related questions become formulaic, why fall back on them when there are so many other aspects of a person’s life and outlook you can talk about? We’ll ask these questions if it’s relevant – for example we have a feature looking at female producers and why it’s such a male dominated industry – but gender politics is not the main focus throughout the magazine.

What have been the biggest challenges involved in the project?

There’s been quite a few. Finding enough money to cover print costs. Finding enough time around a full-time job to do it all in. People not responding to my emails because they’ve never heard of me. Last minute proofing mistakes. Take your pick…

“There are some good magazines out there but I think there should be a broader range of titles, catering to a broader range of interests. I think there needs to be a different approach to how we talk to and about women.”

Danielle Pender

Tell us about the design approach. Did that come from Shaz or was it worked up in collaboration?

We spent a long time discussing the front cover. We wanted a cover which was bold, something that focused on the women in the magazine and what they had to say, rather than what they looked like.

Once we decided on the text-based cover Shaz took this thinking and developed the interior. She’s such a talented designer, her references and intelligence make you really trust her judgement.

She took her inspiration from old National Geographic magazines which have these incredible layouts and I think her use of colour throughout the magazine contrasted with paired back layouts lets the content speak for itself.

What are your hopes for the title going forward?

I’m really excited about moving forward and seeing what people make of Riposte. I’m looking forward to working with Shaz and other talented contributors on future issues, making it into more than a magazine and one day meeting Françoise Mouly!

  • Spread_3

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_6

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_9

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_10

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_11

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_12

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_15

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_16

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_17

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_18

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

  • Spread_19

    Danielle Pender/Shaz Madani: Riposte

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Carolineroberts-graphicdesignvisionaries-itsnicethat-list

    As someone who came into design journalism from the outside, it was a challenge to get to grips with the famous graphic designers blithely referenced in talks or other publications. Who were they? What did they do? And maybe most importantly, why are they important? How I could have done with a book like this new auditor to the Laurence King Visionaries series, which contains profiles of 75 graphic design luminaries alongside large, full-colour reproductions of their significant and groundbreaking work.

  2. Claudia_basel_doing_fashion_4_it's_nice_that_list

    Monochrome design can sometimes fall flat next to brighter projects, but looking through Claudia Basel’s vast repertoire of impressive print work, its fresh, forward-looking art direction for Doing Fashion Paper really holds its own. Helmed by Roland John, Thomas Bircher and Jiri Oplatek, for the last five years the Swiss studio based in Basel have designed each issue of the Institute of Fashion Design’s annual publication showcasing student’s work. Like its posters for the young art fair in Basel, Liste we featured last year, the bold alphabet spreads and nudes overlaid with text for Doing Fashion Paper stand out from what is fast becoming an overflowing, first-rate portfolio.

  3. Linaforsgren-satisfactionguaranteed-itsnicethat-list

    Nowadays we consumers are pretty savvy about how we’re manipulated by the advertising and marketing industries, but does this make us better-placed to resist or merely more complicit in our exploitation? It’s this idea that Swedish designer Lina Forsgren explored in her graduation project at Beckmans College through an installation, film and publication that questioned our own role in the commercial process.

  4. Lundgrenlindqvist-hbtqrethink-itsnicethat-list

    Icon magazine’s Rethink feature – which challenges studios to redesign a well-known identity or industry – has long been a source of innovation and inspiration. In the past we’ve covered Design by St’s fish packaging, Manual’s new US road signage and Studio Makgill’s funeral parlours.

  5. Studiobaer-thomaslohr-itsnicethat-list

    When Studio Baer’s gorgeous book of Thomas Lohr’s plumage photographs arrived in the studio last week, I waxed lyrical about its Japanese paper cover, which felt unlike anything I have ever had the good fortune to stroke before. Add in the subtle, debossed title and I was in publication heaven, but the rest of the editorial team wasn’t so sure –“like weird rubber/reminds me of fingernails down a blackboard/gives me goose pimples” those philistines mewled.

  6. Groszcolab_ascuiandco_itsnicethat_list

    The power of colour and its ability to influence our visual language is fascinating. Using colours to signal change and progression is Australian studio Grosz Co. Lab and their identity for architecture firm Ascui & Co. Architect.

  7. Sea-aiap-fedrigoni-madeinitaly-itsnicethat-list

    Europe has a fine graphic design tradition but certain countries – Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the UK – tend to predominate when it comes to coverage. And so we’re always keen to hear about initiatives that celebrate lesser known design scenes, such as SEA and Fedrigoni’s upcoming exploration of Italy’s graphics heritage. Made In Italy showcases post-war Italian graphic design by way of a show in east London and a series of monographs focussing on some of the most interesting practitioners – Ilio Negri, Heinz Waibl, Franco Grignani and Giancarlo Iliprandi. With amazing access to the Aiap archives in Milan, SEA has also put together a book for the show with the explicit aim of putting this “untapped” subject firmly in the spotlight.

  8. Eddie-opara-pentagram-frida-kaho-its-nice-that-list

    While there’s no shortage of Pentagram projects on It’s Nice That, a partner whose work we don’t show too often is Eddie Opara. We’re not sure why, but remedying that we bring you this lovely project from Eddie and his team in the form of the catalogue for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Mexican Modern Art. Showing the famously monobrowed mistress of 20th Century painting and her husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera and letting the imagery speak for itself, the design is simple, strong and confident, using a bright blue for the book’s spine inspired by Casa Azul, the couple’s home in Mexico City. Elsewhere the palette draws on the colours of Mexican folk art, while the striking large portraits on the front and back covers look to “position the pair as icons,” according to Pentagram. The catalogue accompanies an exhibition entitled Kahlo, Rivera and Mexican Modern Art, currently on show at the Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.

  9. 5173

    As the creative world digests last night’s big D&AD winners (those that scooped Black and White Pencils), there was a host of interesting work recognised in the 44 Yellow Pencils given out at the London awards bash. In total, the D&AD juries considered 847 projects this year and so less than one in 20 made the prestigious Yellow Pencil cut. Here’s our rundown of those winners that caught our eye for one reason or another – you can see the full list of winners over on the D&AD site here.

  10. The-plant-art-15-its-nice-that-list-

    Staying two seasons ahead (calendar-wise, at least) of the autumn art fair scrum, Art 15 takes place this week over in west London, heralded by some unmissably bright new branding by The Plant. The annual fair – now in its third outing – used to take place in February, and its new look aims to reflect its sunnier spot on the calendar. “As it’s spring and it’s a fairly new fair, we felt [the new identity] needed to look quite bold,” says Matt Utber, founder of The Plant, who also designed the fair’s initial identity. “We chose colours that were very bright and vibrant because of that light change – it reflects new life, flowers bursting into existence, it’s that kind of feel.”

  11. Thomaswilliams-bolo-itsnicethat-list

    Australian designer Thomas Williams’ work has appeared on the site several times over the years, in the shape of his editorial work for MADE, Nourished Journal and The Process Journal. He has recently decamped to Los Angeles and set up his own studio, Thomas Williams & Co., which comes complete with a newly updated site on which you can peruse his publication work alongside all manner of considered and communicative identity projects.

  12. Chwast_nose_08-1020x1600its-nice-that-list

    I don’t use the word “iconic” lightly, but in the case of designer Seymour Chwast, it fits. Co-founder of Push Pin studios, Seymour shaped what graphic design and being a graphic designer meant in the 20th Century, creating images that not only looked incredible, but distilled a message that could be anything from a light-hearted comment on design itself to an anti-smoking poster. His much-imitated graphic and illustration style still holds up brilliantly today, as proved by a fantastic new online resource, the Seymour Chwast archive.

  13. List-naonori_yago_laforet_itsnicethat_1

    I’m all for a bargain but when I hear about people queuing up at 4:30am for the big Next sale every year I can’t help but sigh. Surely sleeping is more preferable to numb lips chapping in the wind as you stand next to other haggard shoppers? Even bigger than Next’s sale is Japanese department store Laforet HARAJUKU’s annual “Grand Bazar,” which has taken sale shopping to a new level.