Singapore Airlines has just relaunched its SilverKris magazine. The new magazine is just one of a multitude of improvements currently happening at the airline, all tasked with making the passenger experience better. Published by Ink, the world’s leading travel media company, the magazine has undergone a massive revamp, completely redesigning the magazine from the ground up. We speak exclusively with Ink’s Creative Director, Jamie Trendall, about the new-look magazine.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Can you tell us a little bit about your role within Ink and your background?
As the Creative Director at Ink, I oversee the creative design output across our six global offices for 30 magazines. I also work in conjunction with the rest of the senior management team to launch new titles and pitching for new business. Before Ink, I worked at a number other media companies, including The Times newspaper and BBC Worldwide and for their magazine Radio Times.
Can you tell us a little about the new design for SilverKris?
We wanted the new design to feel effortlessly elegant. Something that would engage the passengers from cover to cover and speak to the high standards of excellence attained by Singapore Airlines.
The overall design is precise, clean and modern with bold touch points throughout. The photography is warm and evocative. I would say the brand message is quite subtle throughout the magazine, there are nods to the airline, with the colours for the front section being inspired by ‘Batik’ patterns featured on the stewardess’ uniforms.
With regards to the cover, we wanted to create something really exciting, by taking the Singapore Airlines logo and overlaying it on top of the cover image using an elegant spot varnish. With this invisible varnish, it creates a lens which makes the image richer and speaks to the airline enhancing the passengers’ journey.
What were your inspirations?
It’s important when relaunching a product that you don’t lean too heavily on another magazine for inspiration, but certainly we were drawn to the strong front sections of magazines like Wired, Entertainment Weekly and Bloomberg Businessweek; and the features sections of magazines such as Kinfolk, Four Seasons and Conde Nast Traveler.
What was the biggest challenge reimagining the magazine?
The biggest challenge was ensuring that the magazine delivered as much as the multi award-winning airline itself. I’m happy to report that the feedback from everyone at Singapore Airlines has been excellent.
Were you given creative freedom to bring the designs to life, or did you have to follow quite prescriptive brand guidelines?
Singapore Airlines was the perfect partner. They fully supported the new vision for the magazine and have both guided us and looked to us to lead. The magazine is always an outward expression of the brand – so there are always brand considerations to reflect, but we are thrilled to have interpreted the brand and driven it respectfully to the large number of loyal Singapore Airlines passengers.
You also produce SilkAir’s magazine Silkwinds, how does this magazine sit within the portfolio of Singapore Airlines?
There are some defining and familiar touch points that cross both magazines, but they also speak to each brand separately – and it’s important that they maintain their own identity.
The magazine is very much analogue in a digital world, how does the magazine respond to this?
Good content is good content, whether it’s print or digital. Both serve a purpose and should speak to one another. For SilverKris, an in-depth first person feature, may lead to a video that sits across our website and social. Conversely an online article may inspire a short story in the front section of the print product.
What are magazines that you admire?
I love The New York Times Magazine, the covers are always so bold and they’re never afraid to try something different and truly engaging. In terms of newsstand titles I’m always drawn to Wired and Conde Nast Traveler.
How important is a magazine’s role in a passenger experience?
We live in a world of constant distractions, flying is no different. Phones, tablets, airline IFE systems, are all there to entertain. But I still believe and see that there is an immersion and deeper connection made with print. When I fly, it’s about taking the time to truly relax and reflect.
Historically, inflight magazines were unloved, but do you think that the design of inflight magazines currently are good or getting better?
It’s a really interesting time for inflight magazines. There’s so much more competition for people’s attention nowadays, so they need to work a lot harder. Something that I believe we’re achieving at Ink. But we have the advantage in the media industry because our audience is growing year on year.