London-based studio B.A.M. has redesigned music magazine Loud And Quiet, featuring an “authoritative” and “grown-up” feel to echo the publication’s reputation for honest reviews, says B.A.M. founder Lee Belcher. The new layout features a new masthead, simplified typography and move from newsprint to a mix of glossy and matte stock.
“Stuart [Stubbs, Loud And Quiet editor] felt like a lot of new music magazines are a bit bonkers, out-there, back to those punky phases of ID,” says Belcher. “As we’ve got older, our tastes have got older,” says Belcher. “We wanted a music magazine with a bit more authority.”
Starting with the Reviews section, B.A.M. wanted to make the most of the magazine’s reputation for honest, thoughtful criticism. “We made the Review section dense and heavy, and didn’t try to be apologetic by giving lots of white space to make it easier to read,” says Belcher. The layout was inspired by books, journals and magazines like The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. “In those magazines, if there’s a long read, it’s a long read,” says Belcher. “Stuart liked that ideology."
B.A.M. switched up the “dated” masthead in Akzidenz-Grotesk Condensed for a new – although not unfamiliar – typeface by Radim Pesko, called Girott. “To completely change the masthead to something very different might have felt a little strange – to me it feels like there’s a big problem if you’re trying totally revamp something,” Belcher told It’s Nice That. “Girott followed on the Condensed vibe but felt a bit fresher, cleaner and more modern.”
The first issue to roll out the redesign features musician David Byrne on the cover shot by long-time contributor Gabriel Green. Given the creative team’s short time with stars like Byrne, the challenge is to develop “clean and impactful" images using textures and backgrounds. Shooting Byrne at his hotel in front of a silver curtain, the team wanted to portray Byrne’s “quirky character”, not to mention his homemade de-studded golf shoes. "It felt like the perfect opportunity to get something a little bit surreal, reflecting some of the ideas in his America Utopia album.”
Set up in 2014, B.A.M. is led by former Wallpaper* art director Belcher and former Esquire creative director David McKendrick. Belchar has been responsible for the Loud And Quiet’s look and feel from its early days 13 years ago, first independently and then as part of B.A.M. Belchar met editor Stuart Stubbs while working for NME, which publishes its last issue today (9 March).
Belecher says, “Music journalism has a tendency to feel really youthful and energetic but we wanted something calmer, or maybe it’s because that’s what’s happened to us and the magazine’s moved along with us!”
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