Riposte returns after a pandemic hiatus with a new issue designed by A Practice for Everyday Life

Evolving with each edition, we hear from APFEL studio and Riposte founder Danielle Pender about the new direction for the magazine.

1 December 2021


It’s no denying that Covid-19 has caused grave disruption across the creative industry – the world, for that matter. Riposte magazine was no different, having enduring a pandemic-enforced hiatus which led the team to take a break over the past 18 months. But, just like the rest of us, the whirlwind of the past year or so has meant its team also needed some rest; making sure to get outdoors, see those dearest and do the things that bring joy as much as possible. Now, however, the magazine is back with its latest issue #13, themed on care – an apt topical focus – and features a one-off collaboration with A Practice for Everyday Life (APFEL) that’s spearheaded a bold and refreshed identity.

By broad definition, “care” means to provide what’s necessary in terms of health and welfare, and to look after the needs of a specific person, animal or thing. In terms of the latest issue of Riposte – founded by Danielle Pender alongside Shaz Madani and Gem Fletcher – the pages have been dedicated to interviews and features discussing sustainability, environmental justice, saying no, setting boundaries, the toxicity of social media and much more. Those involved in the issue include artist Cassi Namoda, Céline Semaan, founder of Slow Factory Foundation, designer Nicole McLaughlin, South Korean duo Glamour Shot, as well photographers Prarthna Singh and Alexandra Leese among others. “We’ve seen the best and worst of society over the pandemic,” states Danielle in the announcement. “People have come together to care for each other and their communities, but that was often out of necessity due to a failing or over-sight of those in power. Coming into the curation of issue #13, we wanted to look at how we care for each other, who we do or do not care for and what that tells us about who we are. This informed how we put the issue together and the topics we covered.”

In addition to the central focus of care, Riposte on-boarded APFEL to design a new visual language that was bold, direct and with “quirk and personality,” adds Danielle. APFEL, a London-based studio run by Kirsty Carter and Emma Thomas, was a fitting choice for the task; having worked with artists, curators and institutions on mostly culture projects for almost 20 years, the team have an abundance of experience under their belt. This also includes the launch of the APFEL Type Foundry in spring 2020; “a project borne out of our interests and work in typography and typeface design,” says Kirsty. So in terms of the issue design itself, APFEL were excited by the “directness and bold voice of the women included in the magazine, as well as Danielle’s editorial voice.”


Riposte: Issue #13, designed by A Practice For Everyday Life (Copyright © Riposte x A Practice For Everyday Life, 2021)

As such, APFEL wanted to steer the visual tone of the magazine in the way of the inspiring women it features – “stripping the design back to reflect this boldness and clarity, with a multiplicity through each article being designed in response to the content,” explains Emma. “The care and attention spent in developing the design reflects the issue’s theme too.” This was achieved through various decisions in the design, including a custom logo cut bespoke for Riposte from the Friedel typeface, which is based on a specimen from a 1970s Phototype compositor machine – a contraption that made it possible for small publications to set their own type, and which would have predominantly been used to create early critical journals and magazines. “For the masthead, we developed a bespoke, bolder version with an adjusted letter ’t’,” says Kirsty. “Its choppy sharp angles reference the idea of ‘riposte’ as a sharp retort.”

Elsewhere, the APFEL team have updated the page layouts to reference non-fiction journals and publications, “with imagery bleeding off the pages at odd angles and bespoke header treatments,” adds Emma. In this sense, each header has been designed to reflect the article at hand, complimenting its contents both visually and systematically. Kirsty says that this was intended to “represent the different voices with the same direct and maverick character as Riposte’s contributors” – and we couldn’t agree more. Alex Leese’s photo series Togetherness exemplifies this as the header (which is both bold and minimal) accompanies the emotive photography, that which explores the socially constructed codes placed onto Asian women’s bodies. Therefore, “Together-ness” sits fiercely at the top of the page: “We always like to consider the magazine as a space or place, so played with the pavement of the type with a simple gesture to illustrate the content.”

In the future, you can expect to see a roll-over of new collaborators with each edition. Danielle is more than excited to continue developing the visual language – “the logo, the aesthetic and being a lot looser than we have been in the past,” she says. “We’re an indie magazine, and we don’t have to answer to anyone (other than our readers!), so I’m looking forward to having fun with what Riposte can be and how it can look over the next few issues.”

Riposte's new issue can be purchased here.

GalleryRiposte: Issue #13, designed by A Practice For Everyday Life (Copyright © Riposte x A Practice For Everyday Life, 2021)

Hero Header

Riposte: Issue #13, designed by A Practice For Everyday Life (Copyright © Riposte x A Practice For Everyday Life, 2021)

Share Article

About the Author

Ayla Angelos

Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent the last seven years as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.