The team behind Brick magazine have long impressed us with a triple threat of head-pivoting design skills, attention-holding written features and a proven knack for securing hip hop talent: Wiz Khalifa made it onto the cover of issue one, and the magazine has become a who’s who of hip hop’s finest nascent and established stars ever since.
The newly released fourth issue marks the 25th anniversary of Dr Dre’s The Chronic, so the Brick team felt it’d be only fair to pay homage to the album with a specially-commissioned insert. Pulling together a team of contributors — Hassan Rahim, Dewey Saunders, NSFW World, Darreck Burns, Yimmy Yayo, Catalogue, Ted Guerrero, Ed Davies of Braindead, Eric Elms, Baby Platinum, Violet Office, Adam Tickle, Sam Bailey, Michael Willis and Chris Hound — Brick breathed a new visual life into The Chronic’s tracks.
Brick founder and creative director Hayley Louisa Brown, the magazine’s design director Oliver Shaw and it’s editorial director Sam Butler got together to talk us through The Chronic feature, and give us an insight into the making of Brick’s fourth issue.
Hayley Louisa Brown, BRICK Founder & Creative Director
On The Chronic
We wanted to create some strong visual responses to the record so they look like a series of vinyl sleeves. We wanted to ensure the designs were complimentary to the size of the cropped section which houses this feature, which we had trimmed to 7” x 7” to reflect that of a vinyl single sleeve. Working with Catalogue on this was great, as it was a chance to combine our creative networks to put together a strong line-up of contributors; including friends of the magazine such as Sam Bailey, Adam Tickle and Yimmy Yayo, alongside artists we’ve not collaborated with before, such as Ed Davis of Braindead and Michael Willis.
One of my favourite contributions to the feature is by Shane Gonzales of Midnight Studios, who chopped up five vintage The Chronic t-shirts and sewed them back together to create an entirely new garment. The image in the magazine can’t do his craftsmanship justice, but it’s a beautiful piece.
I also love Tony Su of NSFW World’s piece, based on the track Let Me Ride. It’s super simple and graphic, and works so well with the duotone black and metallic gold we chose for the section.
On Issue 04
This issue continues on the visual journey we began with Catalogue for the last issue, sticking to three different visual identities across the editorials to create diversity but stay familiar enough to show a storyline. My favourite style is the handwriting, I love the character it gives the pull quotes, it really humanises the words seeing it that way. We also went for a really bold spot UV pantone yellow for the masthead which I think is super strong against our covers. The black and white image of Playboi Carti by Neil Bedford combined with the bright primary colour is super reminiscent to me of Fabien Baron’s Interview covers of the very early 90s. Charlotte Hadden’s striking colour portrait of Jorja Smith has the yellow contrasting beautifully with the blue of her sweater and makes for a great counterpoint. And the third cover, which I actually shot, of SZA is the first time we’ve done a full body image for a cover and I love how that works alongside the others, as well as with the incredibly fun typography Catalogue designed for it.
Oliver Shaw, Brick Design Director, Catalogue
On The Chronic
To mark the 25th anniversary of The Chronic by Dr. Dre, we (Brick and Catalogue) decided to put our heads together and gather a pool of expert creative entities to make artworks representing certain track titles. The contributors were so broad, we got a great result. We also decided to cut the page down to a perfect square to represent a record cover and print duotone black and gold.
On Issue 04
Issue 03 saw the re-design of Brick, and we chose three elements for the direction – two of which we want to keep as a constant moving forward, with one element to change each issue. Last issue was a scan and pull of certain type treatments, but this time it’s stretched type that takes over a lot of the magazine. This thought process is derived from zine culture and artwork which has been an integral part of music/design/punk/hip-hop for years, making it totally relevant to Brick.
Sam Butler, Brick Editorial Director
On The Chronic
We could think of no better way to celebrate _The Chronic_’s 25th anniversary than to explore how the record continues to inspire listeners to this day. The incredible variety and breadth of subject matter in the works we received back is a testament not only to the skills and creativity of our contributors, but to the strength of the original subject matter.
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