Cover of Architectural Review Asia Pacific, Issue 129, Autumn 2013 edition.
In 2011 I was fortunate enough to land a role as Lead Designer for two sister publications, the Asia Pacific edition of Architectural Review and (inside) Interior Design Review, both published in Melbourne, Australia. Although the relationship between well established U.K. publication The Architectural Review (first published in 1896 and still going strong) and this Australian made edition was never explicit I wanted to treat the title with a similar reverence (footnote: I had worked on the U.K. edition’s website under the direction of Violetta Boxill a few years prior to this).
Art Director Sabine Selbach had already set the tone for relaunched version of the title by refreshing previous layouts and paper stock and bringing them in line with their sister title, the aforementioned (inside) (also featured on this site although I would go onto completely reworking the typography and design for that title). She also introduced Norm and Lineto’s Replica as the lead typeface for the title.
After researching the typeface and flicking through screenshots of the original specimen I quickly realised there was a very strict underlying grid that not only related to the content of the title (with its rigorously documented structural details) but could also be used to give physical pages and layouts a similar rigorous underlying structure.
I made note of the size of the angles sliced out of the corners of the terminals in proportion to the letterform’s body and started to use similar measures on the page grids. Where previously type was set based on page dimensions or left to float along horizontal guides, now any object positioned within the page had to adhere to a grid set by the typeface and its construction details. Even images were given the same subtly sliced off corners as was an identifying feature of the letterforms.
Over the course of five issues (one year) different body copy typefaces were trialed before settling on Atlas Grotesk as a similarly formal compliment to Replica. By the end of my tenure the title had a new editor and a shift in focus that linked even closer to the U.K. edition and a raft of typefaces from The Architectural Review’s heyday under the guidance of editor/art director J. M. Richards were bought in alongside Atlas & Replica.
The title would continue with art director Samuel Szwarcbord employing a direction that felt like a clean sweep for the title, whilst maintaining the typographic choices that had helped brand it … including a starring role for Replica.