• 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. List

    Hot Chip are one of those bands that have always had a fantastic visual sensibility. Illustrator Wallzo has been at the helm of it, bringing us glorious Michael Craig Martin-esque block colours and shapes to decapitated statues. Now, the band is moving into the world of bespoke printing, with the artwork for new album Why Make Sense by Nick Relph using an algorithm that means each copy’s design will be unique.

  2. Rawcolor-febrik-4-int_copy

    Eindhoven-based graphic design and photography studio Raw Color has created a great multi-platform identity for interior textiles brand Febrik, using horizontal, laser-cut lines as a reference to archiving methods in textile sample books. They are utilised both for this purpose and as decorative details on business cards, stationary items and online.

  3. No_rocket_asinello_press_1_1160-int-list

    We often discuss the importance of a decent-looking site in presenting creative work, but until we received Francesco Zorzi’s latest missive, we didn’t realise just how much we were into well-presented emails. A lovely GIF and an irresistible typeface led us to the Italy-born, Amsterdam-based designer’s site, No Rocket, which further cemented his reputation as a man with a very discerning eye indeed. The project we admired the most is this logo for Genoan publisher Asinello Press, taking an illustration of a hoof as its motif.

  4. List

    You’re 25 years old and Richard Turley calls you up out of the blue and says; “Hey, I’ve just got this sweet job at MTV and I’d like you to come on board as my senior designer, are you interested?” Of course you’re interested! You’d be a fool not to be interested, even if it means leaving your current (also awesome) job as an art director at The New York Times. Sounds nice right? Well this isn’t some fictional story I’ve just concocted in my head, this is the soon-to-be legendary tale of Erik Carter, a Virginia native turned New York City creative powerhouse who’s filling our (music) televisions with choice tidbits of witty animation and humorous asides from the world of the web.

  5. Michaelbierut-nyt-signage

    Michael Bierut is a designer, Pentagram partner, writer, lecturer and self-confessed nerd. Taking the stage at the Design Indaba festival in Cape Town yesterday, he announced his new book, pithily titled How to: Use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, and (every once in a while) change the world. Published by Thames & Hudson it won’t come out until later in the year, but we felt it was a good excuse to look at some of Michael’s most interesting work from across the years.

  6. Untitled-paris-ad-int-list

    They say that one good turn deserves another. And one good project leads to another, as Untitled Paris has shown us. Last year, the agency was commissioned to create a new identity for interior design company Laplace, creating a slick monochrome look that uses the name as the logo mark. Untitled says: “The entire identity rests on a simple type system and contemporary but sober look, as the work of Laplace is full of colour and feeling.”

  7. Dyakova-list-mcm_gagosian_back-cover_905

    Earlier this week Sonya Dyakova revealed that she “like[s] to wear a uniform that [she] can just hide in and work.” And while her clothes may want to slink into the background, the work of her agency Atelier Dyakova begs to be in the spotlight.

  8. Kurppa-hosk-korshags-int-list

    It’s not often I get to write about my two great loves in a single article, but sometimes the stars align and I’m covering smoked fish and graphic design all in the space of 300 words. Today I feel blessed! This strange combination of subjects has come together thanks to Swedish agency Kurppa Hosk undertaking a wholesale rebrand for Falkenbergs Lax, a small, family-owned smoked salmon specialist. Charged with turning the small-scale brand into an international major player in the fish industry, Kurrppa Hosk renamed it Korshags, and have came up with a sleek new visual identity to accompany the new name.

  9. George-primo-louw-1

    As a rule we profile Jorge Primo on the site once a year; first due to posters for a shoe brand, then a carpenter’s identity and last year it was just for his personal work. This time round Jorge has been hard at it making graphics for skateboarding brand Louw. He’s done designs for their decks, exuberant posters and even knocked up a hand-drawn version of their logo. Choice!

  10. Francesco-del-russo-bologna-int-list

    Graphic designer Francesco Delrosso has spent the past few years making his way through undergraduate study and out into the big wide world of Fabrica, Benetton’s communications research centre. There he’s honed his skills in research-based design, putting them to use in the creation of all manner of print publications. Since leaving Fabrica he’s settled in Urbino where he’s specialising in communication and editorial design at Isia.

  11. Eloisa-perez-book-int-list

    Early school days weren’t so bad: the odd bit of colouring in, keeping up with the adventures of Billy Blue Hat, playing that game where you have to sit in a curled up in a ball being quiet when the teacher wants a rest. But they could have been even brighter, especially in the learning to write department – and graphic designer Éloïsa Pérez’ Apprendre à écrire offers a perfect solution.

  12. Mariohugo-recentlyrejected-int-list

    There was an interesting discussion on our podcast recently about why anyone would really want to watch the creative process taking place. Off the back of our visit to see what was essentially P J Harvey in a box, we’ve spent a lot of time chatting about how the creative process is slow and messy and frustrating, littered with wrong turns and dead-ends.

  13. List-la-direction_le-sucre_1-int

    A sweet, sweet identity project for you today, in the shape of Lyon-based studio La Direction’s work for venue Le Sucre. The studio is helmed by Aurélien Arnaud and Elsa Audouin, who set it up two years ago and have since worked across print, web, and interior graphic design for clients ranging from adidas to Born Bad Records to Grolsch. The one that most neatly presents the breadth of their capabilities, though, is the aforementioned Le Sucre project. The venue is a late-night party joint in Lyon, and the graphics subtly reflect its hip vibe while remaining resolutely timeless and simple. We love the restraint of the interior graphics, letting the strange architecture speak out, and the gorgeous blue of the printed materials. Elsewhere on La Direction’s site are some excellent poster designs, so we’ve popped a couple of our favourites on here for you. What’s not to love about the blue erotic market woman?