Making the cover
With our cover feature offering advice on the day-to-day politics of small studios, we knew we wanted our cover illustration to focus on the heart of a thriving office environment – the relationships between the people.
Guillaume Kurkdjian’s isometric style – gorgeously stylised worlds, populated by bustling miniature people – was a perfect fit for the intimate feel we wanted to convey. We knew that we wanted the ‘studio’ coverline to stand out from a distance (and Kurkdjian’s beautiful, distinctive colour scheme ensured that immediately), but we also knew we wanted readers to look close into the illustration and relish all kinds of quirks and details.
From our initial sketch, there were remarkably few draft developments: Kurkdjian developed our first ideas and executed them rapidly with bags of beautiful extra flourishes.
It was delightful to watch our tiny studio get built, coloured and brought to life by a maestro.
Right: Our first sketch to Guillaume Kurkdjian crammed in as many scenarios and industry roles as possible, with designers at desks, meetings at breakout areas and even an informal gathering at a watercooler. An initial ‘relaxing’ boss (seen right, reclining on the letter ‘U’) was soon struck out.
Above: Kurkdjian’s early draft immediately captured the atmosphere we wanted. We scribbled even more details on top (above left), and ensured that each letter had its own narrative so we could break apart the cover illustration, and scatter them throughout the feature. This was an important part of the initial brief, as we wanted readers to be able to pore over the illustration in greater detail.