Art exists to be seen. And getting more people to go and see it, was our mission.
Sister to the Royal Academy of Arts, The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol brings world-class art from across the globe to the South West. A registered charity that receives no national or local government funding, they wanted a magazine that would raise their profile; get more people through their doors and reposition them as the leading voice for creative arts in the South West.
Our starting point was a blank canvas. So, dipping our paintbrush deep in thought, we set about creating a magazine that would be visually arresting and which, through its compelling content would whet the appetite of an art-aware and not-so-aware audience.
We knew that if we were going to raise the RWA’s profile we needed some high-profile contributors. So we mined our contacts, called in favours and generally went all out to get input from some of the hottest, most influential artists of the day as well as from other relevant contributors.
The results were nothing short of amazing. Contributors to the magazine included Sir Peter Blake, Brian Sewell, Joan Bakewell, Tony Robinson, Howard Jacobson and Sarah Dalton, close friend of Andy Warhol.
We conducted the interviews, wrote and edited articles, and framed it all with powerful art direction. The inspiring and carefully curated editorial content along with the bespoke format we created, gave the magazine a characterful creative feel and a strong identity.
The buzz surrounding the new magazine was contagious. Well-wishers included the Prince of Wales, and the launch party was a hot ticket, attended by artistic luminaries such as Sir Peter Blake.
Reaction to the magazine, far exceeded all expectations. People got in touch saying how much they loved it – many asking if they could contribute to forthcoming issues.
There was a huge spike in membership, with people subscribing to the RWA on the basis of the new magazine. Students in art schools and universities got behind it. And with each new issue it gathered momentum.
In terms of raising the RWA’s profile, the new magazine had succeeded. It had taken a huge leap in helping them to achieve their goal of becoming the leading voice for creative arts in the South West.
I have just picked up the fourth edition of RWA Art magazine. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Your deft editorial touch and your design and layouts are pure poetry. It absolutely shows what can be done if you have the courage and vision you have given us.