Pentagram's Emily Oberman designs No Man's Land – a magazine for all kinds of women, "not just one"
- Lucy Bourton
- 6 June 2018
Following on from Emily Oberman’s all-female team’s branding for women-only social club The Wing, the Pentagram partner has designed the summer issue of No Man’s Land, the co-working and social space’s bi-annual publication.
With the tagline “The magazine for women with something to say and nothing to prove,” No Man’s Land’s second issue is full of admirable people, from its cover star, actress Jessica Williams lensed by Carlota Guerrero to Mona Chalabi on “how motherhood affects women’s bottom lines,” and Chelsea Manning telling Caroline Sinders about her love of emojis. “No Man’s Land is a platform created to capture the smart and defiant voices of Wing Women everywhere and create community around diverse and thought-provoking content,” proclaims the publication’s mission statement.
Emily Oberman’s graphic language for the magazine mirrors the multifaceted personalities every individual woman has. Fonts (a mix of Maison Neue and Berlingske Serif) differ from title to title; even the width of letterforms in the magazine’s masthead widen and shrink in Oberman’s brand identity. Playful block colour double page spreads introduce interviewees, and it may just be the first project to come out of Pentagram that comes with a sticker pack too. “The design liberates (or frees) itself from the conventions of typical magazine – and women’s publications in particular – to express The Wing’s maverick point of view.”
Oberman’s Pentagram team worked closely with No Man Land’s editorial team to “develop a visual personality and tone of voice that felt just right,” Pentagram explains. “The team carefully considered what it means to be a women’s magazine at this moment, keeping in mind they were designing for not just one specific kind of woman. In keeping with the spirit of The Wing, the magazine’s personality is smart, friendly and outspoken, as well as empowering and resourceful.”
Each part of No Man’s Land is created by women, from the writers, subjects or photographers, “who represent a wide range of ages, races, body types and gender identities in a context that is positive and affirming,” Pentagram continues. “The design reflects this diversity with a multifaceted, highly visual approach that is fun, witty and self-referential, and draws on the sassy voice of The Wing branding to put an unexpected, feminist-centric twist on standard magazine tropes – but is not a parody.”
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.