For a large proportion of 2011 and the beginning of this year, we were working with Nokia’s Head of Art Direction Richard Crabb and DesignStudio on Uusi magazine. It’s a quarterly brand publication that goes to Nokia internal marketing types and external agencies to keep them up to speed with all the creative work that’s going on in different parts of the world… and to get them fired up.

Kitching cabinet… cover art by the master of letterpress
In an odd way, it’s been like going back to our roots working on design publications — only Uusi is more creatively ‘out there’ than most regular industry mags. DesignStudio’s background is more branding than editorial, so their take on magazine design is pretty expressive and experimental, all held together by a modernist, grid-based aesthetic. The first three issues of Uusi were nominated at this year’s Design Week Awards, losing out to the brilliant ‘Hand Written Letter Project’ by Music. But in my humble, Uusi has been steadily improving with each incarnation, and #4 (‘The Craft Issue’) is the best yet. The icing on the cake design-wise is an original cover by letterpress guru Alan Kitching. Inside, I’ve written articles on specially commissioned artwork for Nokia World 2011; a couple of great short films by Build; the naming process behind the Lumia and Asha ranges; and a timeline of classic Nokia phones, starting with the Nokia 1011 in 1992.
Nokia’s greatest hits… a timeline of classic mobile phones
I’ve also written up the 2011 Turner Prize, after an interesting evening in Gateshead at the awards night with Richard. And there’s also a more exploratory article called ‘Improving reality’, based around a conference in Brighton on radical new interaction design and content channels. Putting Uusi together is a pretty intense experience. It’s a small team for a magazine with such ambition. But when you finally hold it in your hands, the effort seems more than worthwhile.

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