GMD Alumni designs a new magazine

GMD Alumni Alex Hunting designs a new magazine

Port magazine founders Dan Crowe and Matt Willey have launched a new bi-annual publication with polar explorer Ben Saunders, described as “an adventure and innovation magazine for the international luxury market.” We spoke to LCC Design school alumni design director Alex Hunting about the title, and plans to expand it into a luxury lifestyle brand.

Alex designed a magazine in his final year at LCC about his experiences in Industry as part of the Diploma in Professional Studies entitled Be Brave! When researching the magazine’s design, Hunting says the team was also inspired by Twen, as well as instruction manuals and archive graphics and maps. As well as photographic essays documenting remote landscapes, it features some beautiful imagery by staff photographer Frederic Lagrange, such as the series accompanying Steed’s article on the Kombai tribe, while text-heavy features make elegant use of type.”We wanted to create something that reflected the energetic nature of adventure,” explains Hunting. “We worked on creating a design language that can accommodate a wide variety of content within a refined and sophisticated framework – it’s a classic style with a strict grid that we work within but break out of to surprise the reader, for example for energetic feature openers,” he explains.

“The balance of typography was incredibly important to us to achieve a sophisticated aesthetic
that still retained a bold and modern feel,” he adds. “We have used the elegant serif Antwerp from
A2 for body copy and standfirsts and Typewriter for captions and smaller text to give a technical / manual like feel. In addition, we use a custom stencil display typeface (also used for our masthead) which was a collaboration between Henrik Kubel and Avaunt, and a smattering of a custom rounded version of MFRED for more powerful and energetic openers.”

The original idea, three years ago, was to create a journal that documented pioneering expeditions, and that covered adventure in a literal, focussed and quite outdoorsy sense,” he adds. “There will still be a strong thread of that running through it, but Avaunt has [since] grown to become a title that documents and celebrates adventure in a far wider sense, and we’ll be publishing challenging content about human endeavour in fields as diverse as space flight, poetry, marine architecture and neuroscience. I think the popularity of TED is proving that there’s still an appetite for intellectually challenging, long-form content in an age when our attention spans are apparently atrophying.

With its mix of gear, style, sport, adventure, in-depth features and beautiful photography, the magazine draws obvious parallels with National Geographic, as well as tech and style titles such as Wired, Port and Esquire, and the New York Times magazine. Saunders cites both National Geographic and Esquire as two of his favourite magazines growing up and says they provided inspiration for Avaunt.

Avaunt is available to buy online, priced at £30 for an annual subscription – for details, see avauntmagazine.com

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