New work: frieze magazine and Frieze Art Fair

For the last eight months, I've been putting everything I have into a major rebuild and redesign for frieze, Europe's primary art magazine, and also Frieze Art Fair.

frieze magazine redesign 2007
frieze magazine redesign, 2007.

This was a dream job, as I used to buy frieze every month back in my art days. The Frieze team are also responsible for the Frieze Art Fair (Europe’s #1 art event), and year-round commissioning through the Frieze Foundation. I've also produced brand new sites for those.

This was a real challenge for my beloved ExpressionEngine, but as usual it passed with flying colours. In particular, using EE’s new Multiple Site Manager, we’re running all three sites from one control panel. This is combined with a bridging application to allow for paid membership subscriptions, interaction with Filemaker, a robust advert server, and a little load-balancing trickery.

Magazine index

I’m particularly excited to see how the link between paper and pixels will be strengthened. The latest issue of the magazine now includes details of extra web content on the mag’s contents page (above), and I really like this. For example, videos obviously cannot be viewed in the physical mag, but it is made clear that related content can be found on the website. The Frieze team understand how to use the web as an extension (and not mirror) of the physical magazine, and I know this is something they are keen to exploit further as the site develops.

All in all, this job has been epic. Sixteen years of magazine archives, five years of art fair archives, and a client team of around forty people in three countries. A real treat was the opportunity to work with Paul Barnes, co-designer of the Guardian Egyptian typeface. There were too many workshops and design iterations to count, a hundred database problems, and oh so many nights with little or no sleep. Still, I'm really proud of this one, and I have to say that personally, the challenge of translating physical magazine or newspaper content for online digestion is becoming increasingly interesting.

Frieze sites