A new magazine aimed at raising the profile of illustration, traditionally the poor cousin of advertising and graphic design, launches in May.
Varoom - the journal of illustration and made images is the AOI's new magazine launching this May celebrating and commenting on the illustrated image in today's vibrant visual culture.
Varoom features interviews with leading illustrators and image-makers and explores the attitude behind their designs. The magazine will look at influential movements in illustration and why they have succeeded in making a statement. An archive section will concentrate on different figures and schools of illustration, while the new voices section will showcase emerging talent.
Regular features from acclaimed design critics and practitioners such as Steven Heller will discuss contemporary illustration in its wider context and from different, even contentious, perspectives. Varoom will also review noteworthy exhibitions, events and publications.
A stimulating line-up of interviews, profiles, and polemic launch the first issue, which includes Emily King reviewing The Guardian's adventurous use of illustration; a survey of the contemporary illustration and image-making scene by John O'Reilly; an in depth interview with designer/illustrator Dan Fern; Steven Heller's intriguing insight into the commissioning process and why it's a joy working with Christoph Niemann, and Alice Twemlow's investigation into Ed Fella's highly illustrative typography.
The Association of Illustrators (AOI) has appointed award winning art director, writer and design consultant Adrian Shaughnessy as editor. Highly regarded design duo Non-Format, until recently designers of The Wire magazine, have created a contemporary eye-catching look for Varoom.
In launching Varoom, AOI is reacting to the increasing demand and growing international interest in design, illustration and visual culture. Varoom aims to become the definitive statement on illustration and made images. It is aimed at practitioners and their clients in the creative industries; art galleries and their visitors; as well as the general reader with an interest in contemporary visual communication.
Varoom will be available in design and gallery bookshops in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada, as well as on subscription. AOI members receive their copy for free.
Compared to graphic design, which is often taken far too seriously, illustration has had a raw deal when it comes to proper representation in the media. What has been for many years one of the most influential and progressive areas of the visual arts deserves better. There's some amazing work going on in contemporary illustration, both in the UK and overseas; it will be great to see it given a more authoritative platform.
Professor Dan Fern, illustrator and Head of the School of Communications at the Royal College of Art
My plan is to produce a magazine that seeks to explain the power of the 'made' image in the modern world. Within visual culture, illustration has been neglected, eclipsed by its noisier siblings, advertising and graphic design. But that is changing. There's an interest in illustration that goes beyond the professional sphere.
Varoom will be an opinionated, writer-led publication. I want writers to use their critical and discursive abilities to raise the level of debate surrounding illustration. I want to show that illustration is no longer a cosy cottage industry - some of the most remarkable work is being produced by people who don't even regard themselves as illustrators. And finally I want to produce a magazine that is stuffed with visual delight.
Varoom : the Journal of Illustration and Made Images
Published three times a year, first issue May 2006, 84 pages, ISSN 1750-483X, available in specialist bookshops and assorted news stands in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada, retail price per issue £12, subscription (3 issues) £30.
To subscribe, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7613 4328. Online credit card subscription and PayPal facilities will be available soon.
Adrian Shaughnessy is a freelance art director and writer. He was co-founder of design group Intro, and its creative director from 1988-2004. During his time at Intro the company won numerous awards and accolades. After 15 years, Shaughnessy left the company to pursue an interest in writing.
He has written and edited three books on radical record sleeve design (the Sampler series), and edited a monograph of Intro work called 'Display Copy Only' (all published by Laurence King). His most recent work is 'How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul'. It has enjoyed strong sales in the UK and the USA. He writes for all the principal UK design magazines including Eye and Creative Review. He has a monthly column in Design Week, and is a guest contributor to Design Observer, the leading US-based design blog. He has written about illustration on many occasions.
Currently, Shaughnessy is consultant creative director of This is Real Art, a new 'virtual' creative agency which employs a roster of designers, illustrators and film makers. The company works with some of the leading advertising agencies and media companies in the UK and Europe.
The Association of Illustrators: https://www.dexigner.com/directory/detail/3553