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Richard Turley
Creative Director,
Richard Turley, who previously art
directed the Guardian’s G2 daily arts
supplement and worked with Mark
Porter on the sweeping redesign of
the Guardian newspaper in 2005,
spoke to us about leading a creative
team of people who “shouldn’t really
be designing a business magazine.
How did you become interested in
editorial design?
The graphic design that I was
interested in always tended to be in
magazines, like David Carson; he’s
quite important to me. And then
the English magazines such as The
Face, Dazed & Confused, Sleazena-
tionthose were the magazines
I read. They were all design heavy
and design led, and I suppose that’s
the stu I was most interested in
at the time.
While in school in Liverpool, I
kind of engineered an opportunity
to do a university magazine, which
was really bad at the time. My friend
and I just sort of told the university
that we were redesigning it and we
did. I really enjoyed doing it, and then
we won a design competition, and
I got an internship at The Guardian
newspaper and stayed on for almost
ten years.
I started o in the marketing
department and did a lot of adver-
torials, ads, invitations, any sort of
marketing. I then got another job at a
magazine, which closed. When I came
back to the Guardian, I ended up
assisting Mark Porter, who was then
the creative director. It was never
really formally announced that
I was his assistant, but I helped him
on a lot of projects, and he taught me
just about everything I know. When
the main Guardian newspaper got
entirely reconfigured in the early
2000s, I learned just about every-
thing about design and typography.
Were you always artistically
inclined? What made you choose
to be a designer?
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I was always good at art. I wasn’t
terrible at other subjects. I liked
English, I liked history. But I did a lot
of art. I could draw. I found myself in a
graphic arts course and that’s what I
fell into. I like music, so record covers
were very important. At one point, I
think I would have hoped to design
record covers, but then this magazine
thing took o.
“This magazine thing” is pretty
impressive. Bloomberg Business-
week is quite well regarded,
earning awards from the Society
of Publication Designers (2012
Magazine of the Year) and the
American Society of Magazine
Editors (2012 award for General
I think we’re quite surprised by
the way its been picked up on. It’s
not that we weren’t ambitious for
that, but I don’t think we ever really
thought that that was possible.
Were you looking at other business
magazines when you approached
the initial redesign?
The only magazine I really looked
at was New York. There’s a way that
Adam Moss, the editor, has made that
magazine where you can graze it, and
you can take out little bits and bobs,
but then you can also really read the
magazine . . . that was very influential
to me. I didn’t look at any business
publications. One of the reasons I
think we were quite successful is that
we’re a lot of people who shouldn’t
really be designing a business maga-
zine. We’re not people who thought in
a million years that we’d be designing
the magazine that we design. So I
think our expectations and our inter-
ests are a lot dierent from the usual
business publications.
How does the fact that everyone sits
together—design and editorial—
help the design process? For
instance, you sit across from editor
Josh Tyrangiel.
We have about fifteen design
people, including photo editors. We
have probably ten on sta and five
freelancers on contract. There’s a
lot more communication here, and
decisions get made quicker because
of that. People aren’t hiding away
in oices. For people who are used
to oices, it’s a bit freakish, but I’ve
always been used to working in a
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