What is your favorite Crack issue you worked on and why?
– It’s a difficult one as I like specific things in certain issues, but probably issue 80. My creative director at the time was on a sabbatical which meant it was the first issue where I commissioned all the photography and made all the final decisions design wise. Looking back theres plenty I’d change now if I had the chance, but it was great to prove to myself I could essentially do the whole mag on my own.
What process to you go through when given a new project?
– It depends on the kind of work really. When I was commissioning photographers for the magazine I always started by listening to the music of artist we were wanting to shoot. Just trying to sus them out as an artist and their vibe to start building up ideas for the shoot direction and which photographer would be best.
For most design stuff I tend to just dive straight in and rarely sketch anything out. Especially when it comes to editorial work as I find it easier to just start shifting things around in Indesign.
Do you work well independently or prefer to work with a group? Hows does the dymanic work in the studio?
– I’m happy working independently but much prefer when there is someone else to. There’s only me and Fem our junior designer, so its a super small team but its great to have someone else to bounce ideas off creatively. Working independently will only get you so far and without someone to talk briefs through with, brainstorm and pitch in, I don’t think you’ll ever really be making the best work you can.
How do you get past your creative blocks?
– If things are drying up on a project I try to leave it for a couple of days and work on something else. I always find coming back to things with fresh eyes helps a lot and means you look at things slightly differently.
Do you have a specific layout/guidelines for the magazine that you have to stick to? How often does it change? How much freedom do you have to design independently within the studio?
– Other than the grid the only things we keep consistent are copy sizes and the font family. We come at each feature differently, working with the images and the interview and always try to bring something new each time.
It doesn’t change too much and refreshes tend to happen if we are scrapping or adding new editorial features. But we do throw the guidelines out the window at times, but only when its right. The most recent example being issue 92
What kind of reaction do you want to provoke by the work that you produce for yourself and the work for Crack, is there a difference between the two?
– With Crack its very artist/cover/issue specific. I think Arca (Issue 83) was the most recent issue where we knew, and embraced, that people would be shocked by the imagery.
What form of graphic design do you enjoy working on/producing the most and why?
– I love editorial, but after 23 issues of Crack I’m really enjoying working on the couple of web projects we have on at the minute.
What keeps you motivated and inspires you?
– Getting to work with Ace & Tate was really motivating. Working with a big client like that and knowing that your work is going to be on show in their store really spurs you on.
Jack Wells is a senior Graphic designer who graduated from UWE and is now working as a designer for Crack magazine in the in Bristol based studio. We decided to contact Jack because of our mutual appreciation for Crack magazine and the way it’s designed. We love the layouts and use of white space along with the simplicity and use of bold colour. We decided to use Cracks style of design throughout this publication.