“We launched IFLA! about a year ago,” explains the team behind the new independent magazine tackling climate change, It’s Freezing in LA! “Our motivations were probably twofold. The first was the strong feeling that when people usually talk about climate – in the media, in ‘scicomm’ or green campaigns – the tone is usually very scientific, quite angry or simply ill-informed, which we think makes it very hard to feel moved,” IFLA! explains.
The second reason, it continues, was that people campaigning in this area often reference a moment, or a fact or story, which first got their attention. “We wanted to ask people to make art and text about how climate change plays into their different areas of interest and present a really rich collection of stories and pictures that might be sparks for other people.”
So far, the core team behind IFLA! – editor Martha Dillon, deputy editor Jackson Howarth, head of communication Richardson Banks, designer Matthew Lewis and art and visual content editor Nina Carter, who are all based in south London – has produced two issues, and is currently working on a third. The first, took the team’s original intentions the most literally, presenting a range of drawings and ideas from conversations they had with different contributors. The second was more focussed, however, directly presenting the notion that profound change needs to happen now. And its third will unpack what change could, in fact, look like.
The publication’s name acts as a “subversive nod” nod to a Tweet made by Donald Trump: “Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee – I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!" While the Tweet is quoted in full on the magazine’s back cover, it also informs much of IFLA!’s design which pulls visuals from real data concerning climate change.
“We had the idea to contrast the ignorance of that Tweet with visuals informed by data and facts,” the team explains. Each issue therefore presents concrete evidence of the true impact of climate change throughout its design. In issue one this took the form of heat maps, but in issue two was a “pervasive red smoke, ripped from a video of the devastating California Fires in November”. These visuals obscure the type on the cover, in turn, “reiterating the absurdity of Trump’s tweet”.
Typographically, the magazine features a “calm typeface” (Peace, by Kia Tasbighou) used to “offset some of the more activist elements”. The concept of IFLA! permeates every aspect of the magazine, even stretching into its typesetting. “As a magazine about climate change, we wanted to be as economical as possible with the paper we used. To this end, text and images are closely locked together to make the most of space while not compromising on pacing or legibility,” the teams tells us.
Beyond its witty title and compelling visuals, IFLA! is a magazine well worth sitting down to read. Its content is fascinating, spanning law, politics, history, theatre and infrastructure: “We’ve looked at the gap between extreme scientific findings and soft political responses, we’ve asked how best to support Indigenous communities, who are often worst affected by environmental issues but also the doing some of the most effective work to respond to them. We’ve looked at topics from witches being blamed for the weather to seas changing colour to a crisis in the stage lighting industry.” Most important though, and it goes without saying, it is entirely necessary. Get yourself a copy of IFLA! here.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.