Elephant magazine gets a trunk load of new design to mark its next chapter

Created with London-based studio Kellenberger-White, Elephant magazine’s new design marks the next chapter for the global quarterly art and culture magazine, with a change to the logo, page design and paper stock. The logo was the starting point for the new art directors, who took a decidedly literal reading of the magazine’s title and visited the elephant enclosure at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire for inspiration.

"We watched how they move, how they behave together, how they use the trunk as a tool," the designers said. "Naughty Elephants Squirt Water—not only a mnemonic (NESW), perhaps. We took this as a suggestion for our approach to designing Elephant’s new graphic identity. Later that day, on a building site near our studio in East London, we tried to create letterforms by squirting water on the ground. After a few days of experimenting and elephant-infused acting, we’d found our direction."

The design also includes the crunchily cutting-edge typeface Agipo, from Radim Peško.

Issue 32, which is out this month, is the first to be art directed by Kellenberger-White, and takes perfection as its research subject, speaking with artists such as Kate Cooper, Jo Longhurst and Eva O’Leary—whose Redhead (Amie) was selected for the cover—about the hooks and pitfalls of perfection. For Perfect Me, Perfect You the magazine asks: "Is perfection troubling us now more than ever?"

"Artists are well placed to explore this idea," it continues, "offering us glossy images of the perfection we crave and revealing the trick for what it is. In these images, we see acts of violence, oppression and pure emptiness. We see the human falling short again and again. But we also see moments of hope. If we aren’t chasing perfect, what possibilities are we free to chase?"

Elephant has also recently launched elephant.art, a global new website that features many regular features—including 5 Questions, Studio Visits and Sunday Read—alongside video interviews, digital image galleries and new series that explore artist process and art scenes in different cities around the world.