On Tuesday 2nd April, we welcomed the creative team behind WRAP magazine to the YCN Shop & Library.
To coincide with the release of the seventh issue of WRAP, co-founders Polly Glass and Chris Harrison spoke to an assembled audience of YCN members about the history of the magazine, and the processes involved in putting the current edition together.
The pair began the talk by recounting how the idea to produce a publication dedicated to illustration, design and creative culture first came about. Polly and Chris, who studied product design and graphic design respectively, met whilst working as jewellery designers. Looking for a way to promote what they were doing, the duo hit upon the idea of creating a platform that would not only showcase their own work, but also the work of other creative people they had come across. A magazine would enable the work to be distributed and purchased on a mass scale, and the idea to print the images on pull-out sheets of wrapping paper would allow the reader to easily share their favourite designs with someone else.
Following this introduction, the pair went on to discuss four of their main influences, including contemporary illustration, Berlin's Michelberger Hotel, Jamie Hayon, the creative director of Spanish ceramics company Lladró and COLORS Magazine. Polly and Chris explained they take a great deal of inspiration from artists and institutions that take traditions, and turn them on their head.
The duo then spoke about the small creative team of freelancers that help put WRAP together before introducing their headquarters, based in rural Oxfordshire. Chris suggested how being based away from London can be liberating, as it presents an opportunity to step back from being completely immersed in the creative industries and truly appreciate the developments that happen from afar.
We then learned how the magazine has evolved over the past seven issues, from several sheets of wrapping paper held together by a bellyband of the first issue to the large-format magazine introduced in issue four.
Next members heard how the pair approached gathering content for their newest release. Themed "Drawn Together", the issue is concerned with collectives and collaborations. Alongside articles about notable collectives such as Peepshow, Hvass&Hannibal and BamBam, the issue also contains a feature about Anthony Burrill and his long-standing relationship with letterpress printers Adams of Rye. An account of a self-initiated project that saw Polly and Chris pair up six illustrators who had never worked together before and ask them to collaborate on designing three notebook covers can also be found in its pages.
With all the content secured, Polly and Chris then shared an insight into how the publication is designed. The pair begin by putting together all the spreads in Adobe Illustrator. Custom typefaces are chosen to give each issue a sense of cohesion, and layouts are created with a desire to make all illustrations as big and all text as legible as possible. The pages are then printed off, stuck on a giant pin board, and shuffled around until a satisfying running order is achieved.
An in-depth, step by step account of the printing process followed, with Polly and Chris showing how the issue is sent through the large lithograph printer, bound and then delivered. The final 4,000 copies are then distributed to WRAP's 150 stockists around the world.
Following the talk, each of our guests were presented with a goodie bag featuring back issues of WRAP and other surprises. We would like to thank Polly and Chris for an entertaining and insightful presentation, and to everybody who came along to see it.
Join YCN today to find out more about future talks and events.
Location:72 Rivington Street,
London, EC2A 3AY,
Start:2nd April, 2013 at 6:30pm
End:2nd April, 2013 at 8:00pm