The Supplement: Content & Composition

My research into current and past ‘insert’ examples have led me to indie print and publications.

The number of niche and content-specific magazines in this day and age are on the rise. A number of publications consume and dominate the market with celebrity gossip, “how to”/advice columns, the ‘ideal’ lifestyle and ‘idiot box’ listings. Regular and non readers have an appetite for new, modern and offbeat content.

My idea was to be in-sync with the ideology of the title Create Britain and use that to make something visually unusual and different from what The Guardian readers might have seen before, representative of Britain’s forward-thinking, lesser-known creatives?

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‘Crack’ Magazine, “Bjork: With All The Earth’s Electricity” (Issue 68)

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‘Atlas’ Magazine (Summer 2015)

The Guardian’s current supplement ‘G2‘ explores a variety of subjects, in this particular issue it subjects scientific research into medical “useless procedures” including everyday human activities.

This method of presenting information whilst grasping the reader’s interest, is also concise and easy to understand. Filtering out the most important information is key when writing/finding my content.

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The Guardian, ‘G2’ Supplement (October 2016)

I’ll need to be consistent with The Guardian brand and identity, taking key visual elements such as:

  • Font – Merriweather
  • Colour (If/when appropriate)
  • Layout (If/when appropriate)
  • Written style/format
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‘Cool Britannia’ & Themes

The term ‘Cool Britannia‘ originated in the 1960s, used as a song title by the band Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. It was coined in the 90s, used by media as a marketing hype.

It described the renewed optimism and pride in British culture, particularly through the rise of Britpop acts and bands such as the Spice Girls and Oasis and the reputation of new and upcoming British artists.

The new government led by Labour’s Tony Blair latched onto this and used the term to promote themselves as ‘cool’ and ‘young’ to win the 1997 general election, which further ignited the country into a new era of hope and optimism.

It was seen as a time that Britain regained its identity as a country, where it appeared anything was possible. A revival and modernisation of what was felt during the 1960s, which inspired the scope of the creative industries.

Maybe this term could form the basis of my supplement? Although an old understanding of British values, it displays a former, well-recognised, established identity of the country?

Potential themes to consider/research:

  • Art – a history/discussion/update?
  • Design – what particular aspect?
  • Fashion – icons/designers/items of clothing
  • British identity – values/culture
  • Music – a timeline? Famous or obscure? Technology/Theory?

The Guardian: A History

The Guardian was established in 1821,“The paper was intended to promote the liberal interest in the aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre, and in the context of the growing anti-Corn Laws campaign flourishing in Manchester during this period.”

The newspaper stands by certain values that has endured since 1921. On it’s 100th anniversary an essay was written by it’s current editor at the time CP Scott, ‘A Hundred Years‘ underpins theses values as Scott has stated,

“Comment is free, but facts are sacred”

(CP Scott, ‘A Hundred Years‘, 1921)

The paper is centred around impartial discussion and noted for it’s investigate journalism, analysis and comment on the arts and foreign correspondence. Recently it has expanded it’s digital output and accessibility, available as online editions on multiple platforms and as an application. Also becoming the first paper to adopt a “digital-first strategy” encouraging open journalism.

“Britain’s non-conformist conscience.”

(www.britannica.com, 2008-2011)

Their main current audience is and readers are progressives, forward-looking individuals – well-off, influential and connected who embrace change, making them attractive to advertisers.

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The Guardian (Newspaper format,http://www.dandad.org, 2016)

(All other quotes and research extracted from www.theguardian.com)

“Create Britain”

The Guardian newspaper is launching a new cross platform feature under the umbrella title of “Create Britain“. Picking up from the “Cool Britannia” agenda of the 1980’s The Guardian will work in partnership with leading British cultural institutions in a celebration of the state of the cultural industries within Britain today.”

We have been commissioned to design and produce a supplement for this new series, embodying the brand and ideology of the newspaper.

 These questions form the basis of my initial research:

What does The Guardian represent and who is the audience?

What has led to Britain’s wide-ranging cultural creativity of today?

What topic/topics of interest should I identify and explore?

How shall I present my findings? What method would be most suited?