Work / Publication

Icon magazine’s art director talks us through its redesign

Design magazine Icon has marked its 150th issue with a new look and content strategy, with its first issue of the relaunch boasting a cover by Norwegian architecture and design studio Snøhetta.

“The practice’s hands-on approach is a perfect fit for the new vision for the magazine,” says Icon art director Anja Wohlstrom, who worked with editor David Michon and the editorial team – John Jervis, Debika Ray and Peter Smisek – and designer Simon Kuhn to “push the visual language and create fun lively spreads that engage our readers.”

She explains: “To reflect the more informal editorial tone, I’ve developed a playful grid to allow for a more vivid and flexible layout. Our new font Mark FF, with its geometric and lively characters, brings a vibrant feel to the magazine and works smoothly for both body copy and captions.”

The magazine’s body copy now uses Swift Neue LT Pro in a larger size than previously, aiming for a more modern feel and increased legibility. “It was just too small before!” says Anja. “On the cover, we have used a UV spot ink for the logo and part of the text, to give the magazine a subtle tactility.”

Icon has been redesigned to work in three main sections – Lifestyle, Architecture and Objects – with each part delineated by a subtly different approach to layout and illustrations. Anja says: “We are ambitious in our vision and eager to nurture new talent, which is why we commission as much original photography and illustration as possible for every issue – portraits and original photo stories introduce the people and processes behind the products and industry, while illustrations add texture.”


Icon: Objects Bathroom


Icon: Lifestyle Design Neighbourhood


Icon: Lifestyle Destination


Icon: Objects and Obsessions


Icon: Lifestyle Hotel