Editorial Design

A new editorial and design concept for a magazine about sustainability.

Pentagram has created 413, a new editorial and design concept for a magazine about sustainability which launches with the latest issue of luxury lifestyle magazine Port. 

The worlds of luxury and fashion are not synonymous with radical action; however the magazine’s remit is not about reconciling these. Its editorial team hopes that by explaining and champion the good work that is being done and contributing to the momentum and scope of the sustainability movement, it will encourage others to get on board.

In keeping with its overall approach, the magazine’s title is unconventional—it will always be a number, but the number will change for every issue, each time reflecting a sombre statistic relating to climate change and sustainability. The first issue is 413, which is is the global average atmospheric carbon dioxide in parts per million (ppm). During the relatively short time it took to make the magazine, the number rose to 414.

While sustainability is often linked to more ‘worthy’ design, 413 is unusual as it looks more like a beautifully designed lifestyle magazine. Editor Dan Crowe explains this approach: “Good design means people have faith in the content before they have read anything. And our focus on innovation can be illustrated through the design. So it was key for us to have a ‘designed’ feel for 413, because of who and what we are talking to and about. And we wanted it to look a bit less conformist or typical. We need to change the way we live and work, so the supplement needed to address that by being different (and sustainable).”

413 takes the form of a large, vertical newspaper. Printed on 100% recycled stock, there is no binding or glue holding the folded pages together—this makes it 100% recyclable, an important factor in a magazine on sustainability. The magazine unfolds twice, which means that there are effectively two covers. One cover has masthead like a regular newspaper, this then unfolds to reveal the cover image. The long and narrow format also ensures that space is used as effectively as possible.

The dimensions follow the same ratio as Ten Ten magazine, but x3 for each page, with the advertising is sold in modules—so taking 6 pages in the magazine will give a poster-sized advert.

The team worked with Pentagram Partner Sascha Lobe, who developed a bespoke typeface to work in alignment with the folds of the newspaper. This is a modular typeface, which also has the ability to stack at the ‘joining gap’. Parts of the letters can be moved around and used again to create other letterforms and glyphs (which is also a nod to recycling and sustainability). The design team worked with the typeface and the folds of the newspaper to create bold typographic statements and dynamic page designs throughout the magazine. The team also commissioned illustration and photography to help tell the story of how the featured brands are addressing issues of sustainability within the areas of fashion, lifestyle and travel.

The aim is for the title to eventually sit on the newsstand as an independent magazine, endorsed by Port. Dan Crowe explains: “We would like it to be a standalone, 100% sustainable publication, because there isn’t one, as far as we are aware, and clearly people still love print, so we would love to go in that direction and be part of the change we desperately need in both publishing and fashion.”

The timing of the magazine is particularly relevant, as Dan Crowe suggests: “Obviously, environmentally, time is of the essence, and hopefully publications like this will turn up the heat for brands that aren’t pushing hard enough.” 413 is a magazine made, designed and printed under challenging conditions which offers a fresh perspective on these ever-changing but increasingly important issues, and represents a much-needed addition to the publishing world.

Editorial Design
Astrid Stavro
Project team
Sara Martin
Jake Gilbert
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