< Our insights

From concept to cover

Published Jul 10, 2017 – By Jules Gray


For one of our longstanding clients, the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA), we produce a quarterly magazine, the BVCA Journal, which goes to all of the association’s members.

On the cover of the latest issue, we featured Digital Catapult, a government-backed accelerator that aims to help transform many of the UK’s new tech start-ups into the next big digital giant. Focusing on two areas – digital manufacturing and the creative industries – Digital Catapult is assisting smaller firms to grow faster, while aiding larger businesses to adopt new technologies more rapidly.

It’s not an easy message to communicate in one, striking image but Art Director Colin Wilson rose to the challenge. We caught up with him to find out how.

What’s unique about this particular client?

One of the great things about working for the BVCA Journal is the covers. The client loves conceptual covers and loves illustration, which is a dream for designers! This cover for the summer issue was a particularly great one to work with.

Talk us through the creative thought process that got you from the ideas brainstorm to the end result.

As always we have a brainstorming session to come up with ideas for the cover. Nick Doyle, Senior Designer at Wardour, and I sat together after reading the copy and worked through many ideas. Some great, some awful! However, we kept coming back to the same concept of the catapult. What was the most challenging aspect of this brief and why did you decide to go for a literal visual interpretation? The problem was how could you catapult the British digital economy? How about making up a digital pound symbol, made out of a circuit board, and flying it up in the air? In steps Joshua Mowll, an illustrator I have worked with for many years. In fact, he used to be my junior when we both did a previous job, although he will probably deny this!

You chose Joshua for the job because of his experience as a CGI illustrator. Tell us about his work and why he was the right person for this commission.

Whilst Josh was great (and still is) at 2D graphics, he decided to branch out into CGI illustration, learning to use software such as V-Ray and Blender to produce some absolutely stunning work. I knew this job would be perfect for him. We sent him a visual Nick and I drew out and he turned the finished illustration round in five days…not just the cover but the spread inside, where the pound sign is flying through the air! What do you love most about the finished cover? I knew the illustration was going to look good when I received an email from Josh at 11.27pm saying he was having to draw the circuit board from scratch so he could wrap it around the £ sign. I love the finished cover, it is a strong illustration that instantly tells you what the piece is about. We have many more case studies we can share with you in person. If this has caught your interest, please get in touch at hello@wardour.co.uk

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