Australian Financial Review: Power List

Australian Financial Review: Power List

Tony Rice, Design Director for the Australian Financial Review, sends us some in-depth backstory on their recent issue, a great look at problem-solving when you're faced with that recurring best-of or lists issue... once again:
With the 10th Anniversary of the AFR Magazine's annual 'Power in Australia' issue looming -- and having been the design director of each successive issue -- I dreaded the thought of yet another three-quarter shot of the current prime minister gracing the cover.

cover version 1 (above)

cover version 2 (above)

cover version 3 (above)

Editor Kathy Bail and I worked at least two months in advance putting up and knocking back cover ideas 'til one stuck. It sat on my desk for a week before the panel sat down to vote on the 30 individuals that would represent overt, covert and cultural power in Australia. From that, our first purely typographic cover for 'Power' was born (below):
Once those names were in and the idea of how to shoot each person was decided on (you'll notice we took a lot of inspiration from Nadav Kander's images of Obama's incoming administration for The New York Times Magazine), Nic Walker and the team of staff photographers, editorial assistants and the like, set to the task of wrangling 30 very busy people to sit for us. We did remarkably well, missing only one portrait due to the fact it was the mother of the owner of a rival media company!

When the images started pouring into the Low Res folder, I started to manipulate the typography to work with but not overpower the crisp nature of the photography. These people are certainly not the most photogenic, but ultimately it was about them. Let the images to do the talking.

The Overt Power List:

The Covert Power List:

The Cultural Power List:

The Sectoral Power List:
The Contents page:

An Infographic:
Art director Shireen Nolan, worked on keeping the ideas for the entire mag -- and me -- consistent along with the picture research and design of the features and the sectoral lists. Rohan Cain lent a hand embellishing and distressing type and feature illustrations.

The creative team for AFR includes:

Design Director: Tony Rice
Art Directors: Shireen Nolan, Rohan Cain
Photographers: Nic Walker, Louie Douvis, Jessica Hromas, James Davies, Jessica Shapiro, Ross Swansborough, Michele Mossop, Glenn Hunt
Illustrators: Rohan Cain, Michael Fitzjames

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  • dp_danpeterson

    I like the old poster style typography. I'm not 100% on how it works with the powerful people concept, but nice work regardless.

    Australian newspaper inserted magazines need this class of work to inspire the rest to be better. Keep it up!


  • Bradley R. Hughes


  • Mike Solita


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