Empire of the Ant-man…

The UKs best-selling entertainment magazine gets a refresh


Simple effective design and drop cap
Loads to look at
Loads to look at

Empire has always been one of my favourite magazines to read and I am a long-time subscriber. I enjoy the magazine’s editorial consistency and mix of features and reviews. The design has always been – outside of stunning features – either rather plain or bonkers (random colour slabs behind review copy anyone?). The July 2015 issue is however, rather beautiful…

The two review sections – In Cinemas and Review – have a lovely new grid system that allows plenty of white space (without feeling empty). I love the big splash images and the delicate greyscale drop-caps. I also think the ‘like this, watch this’ box outs help break up the page well. Alongside the reviews are fantastic catch-up viewing guides, tables and more.


The whole issue is linked via a delightful set of arrows that flow throughout – pointing to important information, tidbits and images – encouraging the reader to examine even the smallest details.

The colour palette is quite muted using greys and creams alongside blues and greens but don’t let that put you off – it really lets the images and movie features stand out.

There is some weird pacing in places. I don’t personally like features that start on a single page and the Magic Mike XXL feature is a little lost because of this but, I’ve worked in magazines long enough to know this was probably due to advertising constraints.

All in all this is a very solid start and I can’t wait for the next issue to drop through the letterbox.


Ant-man teaser arrives…

Entertainment Weekly’s magnificent magnifying cover really hits the spot

1346-ANTMAN-cover-EWYou can’t move for Marvel movies these days. Following on from the success of Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers et al comes Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas.

I’ve never been a big fan of the character  – as I prefer my heroes to be very big, very strong, angry and green (you know who I’m talking about) – but I think you have to applaud Marvel for making movies based on less well known characters. Check out this stunning infographic to see if your favourite is heading to the big screen.

Ant-Man may have been a movie with issues (Edgar Wright leaving halfway through production etc etc) but I think the trailer looks half decent. It is only a teaser but there is something about it that gets my juices flowing.

I also love the superb cover photography from Entertainment Weekly’s January issue. It’s quirky but does a good job of promoting the movie in a visual way. I guess Paul Rudd should count his blessings that the sun wasn’t bright that day or else he’d be a bit crispy.

Ant-Man is released on Friday 17 July 2015.


Empire magazine unleash an Amazing Spiderman 2 double.

73709 73708

Sometimes the best magazine covers take the direct route. The latest issue of Empire magazine does just that. Superheroes are some of the most recognisable characters and Spiderman is one of the most popular of all time. Amazing Spiderman 2 stars Jamie Foxx as villain Electro and the team have put Spidey on an electrifying background and added fluorescent green cover lines for added ‘thwip’. The subscriber edition is as direct a cover as I’ve ever seen. Big Spiderman = happy inner 10-year-old. Wonderful! You can view the Electro teaser trailer here and discover more about Empire here. It’s on sale from Thursday 25 July.

Do you feel lucky…

Well, do ya, punk?

ShortlistDirtyHarryShortlist magazine have unleashed a mighty cover for their latest issue. It’s mean, moody and impactful. Let’s face it, you can’t really go wrong when the iconic ‘Dirty Harry‘ is your cover-star and the retro font is a lovely added touch. As soon as I saw it I couldn’t help but hear the music of Lalo Schifrin and it makes me want to pick it up now! Issue 281 is out tomorrow (4th July) but if you can’t wait, just visit http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/films/the-39-greatest-maverick-cops for their definitive maverick cop list. Stunning!

He’s Back…

November’s Empire magazine showcases the career of Arnie, the original action hero!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I am an avid subscriber to Empire magazine. I love the design and the in-depth articles and features. It’s constantly tweaked and often has a different way of looking at movieland. It’s less gimmicky than it’s main rival Total Film – which I also enjoy from time to time but to which I’ve never felt inclined to subscribe. Empire just reports on movies and does it very well!

I was particularly delighted when the latest issue dropped through my letterbox. Upon opening the package I was confronted by the world’s greatest ever action hero in monochromatic glory. Weirdly he’s not looking at the reader but this adds to the mystique. Arise for Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Upon browsing the contents and skipping straight to page 66, I was then treated to thirty five pages of machismo. There is the exclusive ‘He’s Back‘ interview, during which Arnie discusses his career, upcoming movies and plugs his new autobiography. This in itself would beenough for most movie-mags but Empire love to go the extra mile. There is a gorgeous ‘Weapon’s of Choice‘ infographic, detailing the accessories Arnie’s character’s have used in his movies. Followed by a fun dissection of Predator which offers a graphical step-by-step look at the classic jungle trek. ‘Bullet timed‘ is a second-by-second guide to Commando from the talented guys who made it and finally the issue is rounded off with my favourite feature – ‘Arnie Killed Me!’ This is another step-by-step chat with cast members who’ve be terminated by the man himself. Phew!

This is a great edition of my favourite magazine. If you don’t like Arnie then you’ll probably feel a bit short changed but there are all the usual superb news, reviews, features and more. Check it out!

Magnificent Movie Stills Collection…

Christian Annyas’ Movie Title Stills website is an inspiration

I love movies. Westerns, horror, comedies, 80s action, musicals, silent movies – the whole lot. I like the way the movie can send a shiver down your spine as you watch a specific scene and the nostalgia a movie brings when you remember where you were the first time you saw it – with whom as well.

What the excellent Movie Title Stills site does best, is show you how instantly recognisable film titles are and how they set the scene and feel of the movie from the get go. There are some amazing examples of graphic design on offer, from Buster Keaton’s twee logo-based titling, through to the sinister looking M.

His site tracks movies titles from the monochromatic 1900s right up to technicolor 2012 and represent all the major studios. You can search entire movie collections and genres – such as the effortlessly cool James Bond or the unashamed eighties vibe of the Police Academy movies. Another great section is the Type of the Remake, which naturally compares typography from the original movies and sequels.

Christian has obviously spent years putting together this labour of love. If you love typography, take a look today – you won’t be disappointed. Truly inspirational.