Wolverine gets his claws out on the very latest SFX magazine cover.

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SFX228 has hit the stores and all I can saw is wow! This is a bumper special that previews all the upcoming superhero films.

Starting with Marvel studio’s output, the talented team take a look at Thor sequel The Dark World, oddball team movie Guardians Of The Galaxy, the new Iron Man 3 armour, Captain America 2 – The Winter Soldier, plus the marvellous mutant goings on in The Wolverine and X-Men: Days Of Future Past! They also have a world exclusive interview with Mark Millar, discussing his new role as Fox’s hero movie mastermind.

This hero theme continues with an in-depth look at the new series of hit TV shows Misfits and The Walking Dead. Plus there’s a cool look at the world of collecting Star Wars figures and you also get the latest news and reviews from the world(s) of sci-fi.

You can pick up digital SFX on Newsstand for iPad/iPhone (with extra bonus content) and Zinio for Android/PC. If you’d prefer the print version then just pop into your nearest magazine retailer or visit

SFX © Future Publishing Limited 2012


Brand extension…

Making a spin-off stand out but remain ‘on-brand’ is often harder than it looks.

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Actually that’s not quite true. What is hard is trying to reign your creative ideas in, so that you remain on-brand (god I hate corporate speak, but sometimes there are no better words – go figure). As a magazine designer, you see images and text and whirl them around in your creative juices. You picture big openers, flashy pullquotes and cool colours. Maybe you draw sketches in a pad or on paper of your layouts – I know I do. Then you look at who you’re designing for and alter your designs to fit.

This project was a case in point. Total Anime was a spin-off from the massively successful SFX magazine and so had to be treated respectfully. I was art editor on this project (with full creative control), but had to use SFX fonts and grids for the magazine. It had to look new but still resemble the parent magazine.

The decision was made to use a new ‘Ghost in the Shell movie on the cover and main feature because we had an exclusive first-look and review. The lead character is a funky looking lady (Major Motoko Kusanagi) who really jumps from the page. Motoko was also used on the branding for the DVD release and this added extra impact for free because ‘fans’ would spot her a mile away from the shelves. I elected to mimic the circles from the main image throughout the feature and took the purple colouring from the DVD release. I am a great fan of repetition in magazine page design. I think it helps to move content along smoothly as your eyes naturally follow the same lines.

Total Anime was a successful first edition and it’s since spawned more issues.

© Future Publishing Limited