New-look Huck

by Steve Watson in April 2012
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Huck has had a bit of a make-over. We’re not talking the sort of changes you’d spot from the other side of WHSmith, but they’re definitely worth a quick post. The most obvious change is a new front section, printed on thick uncoated stock and playing with an interesting new storytelling layout.

The idea is that rather than existing as separate entities, the short articles relate to one another, with subtle arrows in the design helping to emphasise the relations between blocks of copy. The effect varies according to the material on the page – in this piece on snowboarders and their artistic exploits, for example, it underlines the relationships and close-knit community that are at the heart of the independent snowboarding world.

While this selection of stories about independent record shops functions more as a conventional mini-section, offering different viewpoints and perspectives from record shops around the country. The design draws the reader through the copy, leaving plenty of room for Huck’s trademark photography.

But probably the biggest change to the magazine is the loss of its old strapline. The new Huck has nothing that explicitly says it’s about ‘surf, skate, snow, music, art, activism’, and it feels freer for that. This issue is packed with a huge range of stories, from British Muslim hip hop to Berlin’s avant-garde tattoo artists, and the team have clearly enjoyed working with a blank canvas.

It’s not that those stories wouldn’t have made it into the old Huck, but the new Huck feels happier to focus on them while keeping the surf, skate and snow as something more subtle – kind of a guiding principle rather than the main focus of the stories. It’s fresh and exciting, and well worth a read.

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