PRESS RELEASE : The modernist magazine unveils new design from industry legend Trevor Johnson

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Sarah Tulley, High-Rise Communications, E: / N: 07549 120432

The modernist magazine unveils new design from industry legend Trevor Johnson

The modernist magazine has been given a new aesthetic by renowned Manchester-based designer Trevor Johnson.

Trevor has been creating iconic images, typography and graphics for the past five decades. He forged his reputation during the 1980s and 90s Madchester scene, when he designed record sleeves and branding for the legendary Hacienda nightclub and its owners Factory Records, and continued providing regional branding via commissions for the likes of Manchester United FC, Manchester International Airport, Granada Television, and Manchester City Council.

His work has been published across industry books and publications, and featured in magazines such as The Face and ID. He has contributed to the formation of undergraduate and postgraduate design courses at Salford and Manchester Universities and lectures in visual communication, branding and typography.

The limited-edition quarterly magazine, which recently celebrated ten years and 40 editions, has a focus on the untold story and the undiscovered - a housing block in Paris, a city in Eritrea, a micro apartment in Tokyo, even a public toilet in Accrington. Edited by Ashiya Eastwood, contributors over the years have included Billy Bragg, Matt Johnson (The The), artist Mishka Henner, designer Craig Oldham, and photographer Darmon Richter, to name a few.

The new design has launched for the magazines 41st issue, entitled ‘Landscape’, which includes a new square format and a cover image from Mikael Olsson’s latest book for prestigious German publisher Steidl. The issue explores the evolving relationships between the human, the non-human and the worlds they inhabit, and is guest edited by Corinna Dean, lecturer at the School of Architecture + Cities, University of Westminster and founder of ARCA, the Archive for Rural Contemporary Architecture, which explores rural topologies and their relationship to their contextual landscape.

Joining Trevor on design duties is his younger brother, highly respected designer Craig Johnson. Craig has over 30 years’ experience designing for the music, fashion and entertainment industries, and having assisted Trevor creating influential and iconic imagery for Factory and The Haçienda, also worked on award-winning branding for a number of major record labels. He has designed campaigns for ITV, Levi's, Diesel and MIF, and had work exhibited in galleries and design and fashion publications. Alongside his design career, Craig also works as a DJ and teaches music journalism at BIMM Institute Manchester.

Up and coming talent Lily Platt is also assisting with the design of the new look magazine. Currently an artworker at Havas Lynx, Lily is a graduate of the Interior Design Institute, as well as being an illustrator and digital artist.

Trevor comments: "I've known Eddy for a while through decades of Manchester activities. We originally connected about my archive, and subsequently an exhibition we did for the 40th anniversary of Factory at their gallery. Tony (Wilson) had a theory of praxis for making things happen that ‘you learn the reasons for doing something by doing it’ and that's very much the Modernist ethos too, and I like their commitment to being a Manchester independent and tried to do my bit for their cause.

“Design for print is my background, so when they said they wanted to change the look of the magazine I was keen to help. For me, if it's about celebrating modernism in taking influences from 50s, 60s & 70s Swiss and Italian publications then those classic references should be reflected in the overall style. Function over form is always a priority, addressing fundamental principles of legibility and navigation on a grid to set the tone.”

Eddy Rhead, co-publisher of modernist magazine, says: “Having just celebrated the 40th edition and tenth anniversary of the magazine, it seemed like a good time for a revamp. The new format is quite a design departure from our previous issues, especially if you look back at our earlier editions.

“Trevor and Craig are leading lights in the design field, so we’re over the moon to have them on board. Alongside brilliant new talent Lily, we have an amazing team of designers bringing some fresh new ideas to the magazine and taking us forward for (hopefully) many more editions to come.”

Landscape, the 41st issue of the modernist magazine, is available to purchase at:


Editor’s notes: 

Founded as The Manchester Modernist Society in 2009 by Jack Hale, Eddy Rhead and Maureen Ward, The Modernist Society is a creative project dedicated to celebrating and engaging with twentieth century architecture, through publishing, events, exhibitions and creative collaborations.

Publishing arm 'the modernist' was established in 2011, initially publishing as a quarterly printed magazine. the modernist is now developing into a small press, publishing limited editions about 20th century architecture and design. The editor of the modernist is Ashiya Eastwood.

The Modernist Society enjoys the support of its excellent Patrons: Jonathan Meades and Johnny Marr. The Modernist Society is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company.