Friday, 9 December 2011

Cover Story

So, seasonal congratulations to the Radio Times. This cover really stood out in the newsagents, surrounded as it was by its competitors that couldn't free themselves from the usual trashy soap celebs huddled together under snow-covered mastheads. For the RT to break free from this tradition is remarkable, guilty as it has been in the past for indulging the latest Doctor Who or dodgy chef. Christmas issues should be special; when it first came out the RT was in monochrome, and colour was usually only seen at seasonal highpoints. Covers by consummate professionals like Edward Ardizzone and Eric Fraser, and in my own time (under the editorship of David Driver) classic covers by the likes of Peter Brookes. I remember it all stopping when I stared in disbelief at a Christmas issue with a heavily retouched Mike Yarwood grinning out at me, probably doing his impersonation of Frank Spencer. Blimey, that dates me. But this current cover does it for me again. The actual details are very simple, but the overall effect is so rich, like the lid of a decorative biscuit tin. Even the Gruffalo offer is incorporated successfully, but a shame about the barcode, which annoys all designers. The cover is by Kate Forrester, and also comes in a green version. Which I suppose I'll have to get. Or three copies, a red and green for the library, another for seeing what's on the telly. But which colour? Oh God.

15 comments:

Philip Wilkinson said...

I do like this, especially because of the way that you see the big stuff (the title, the tree, etc) then gradually notice all the little details around the edge. So the message is conveyed across a crowded newsagent's, as it were, but then there's more stuff to admire when you've bought the maagazine and got it home. A class act.

Peter Ashley said...

Thank goodness you've commented Phil, thanks. I was beginning to think everyone thought it was crap.

Anonymous said...

No, we like it. But you might find that a month's gap between posts (I'm sure there wsa a good reason) has meant readers drop by less often.

Wartime Housewife said...

It is a lovely cover and it is a return to decent design. I always buy the Radio Times becauseI don't read any other magazines and I like the standard of writing and the interviews. My mother buys 'TV Shit' or something of that ilk, so I bought her a copy of the Christmas issue of RT to try to lure her away from the cesspit of celebrity ordure into which she has allowed herself to fall. I was disappointed to discover that she doesn't care about poor writing and is influenced only by price. I will burn her in the new year.

PS. Regular devotees of the Unmitigated blog have continued to drop by just in case, never fear.

Wartime Housewife said...
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Mr_Handley said...

I drop by everyday while I'm supposed to be working!! As regards the Radio Times cover,I thinks it's perfect and it caused me to buy the RT Christmas edition for the first time in ten years or so!

Sue said...

It's lovely. I've noticed that this style is creeping back into the book cover world, as well. It almost tempts me into the idea of a lazy Christmas in front of the telly, although the thought of what horrors await puts me off.

But maybe there will be a decent film or two tucked away amongst all the Super-Hyper-Mega-XXL-Talent spectaculars!

Peter Ashley said...

Programme that appeals most so far is Great Expectations. Worth seeing just for Ray Winstone as Magwitch, I should think. And the marsh scenes shot on one of my favourite places- Tollesbury in Essex.

bikerted said...

At last a traditional christmas offering from an entertainment guide. Who cares what's on, might even indulge and buy a copy (or three) myself.

Wartime Housewife said...

Can't wait for Great Expectations. Or the Downton Abbey Christmas Special. Oh and there's the Dr Who Christmas Special as well. Blimey.

Anonymous said...

And, for those of us with wee ones, the animation of the Gruffalo's Child!

Jon Dudley said...

Hats off to the editor or whoever had the bravery to commission an illustration for a front cover. Well done RT...and well done Mr.A for drawing it to our attention (oh dear, no pun intended). And just in case you don't get the opportunity to blog again before Christmas, a merry one to you and yours Mr. A, and to all the Unmitigated Followers.

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Jon, and a Merry Christmas to you.

Peter Ashley said...
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Thud said...

Apparently it was done to chime with our austere times, a good cover regardless.