• Transform magazine
  • July 04, 2020


Magazine that helps the homeless rebrands to address ‘big issues’


Weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine, the Big Issue, offers the opportunity for the UK’s homeless to earn a living through independent salesmanship. Vendors purchase magazines from the publisher and then sell them at a markup, keeping the difference.

Now, the socially minded magazine has rolled out a redesign that sees radical changes in both its visual identity and content, following month of research by art director Ross Lesley-Bayne and editor Paul McNamee.

The new brand was designed to maintain the magazine’s core identity and characteristics, while sporting a contemporary look that reflects its growth and evolution.

“For the last three years we’ve enjoyed year-on-year sales increases. In the last 18 months, we’ve also upped our digital and social offering. We’ve invested in our teams and grown our reach. This is the next, vital, element in a publishing success story that is building for the future,” says McNamee.

For the first issue following the redesign and on the occasion of the UK celebrating a century since the end of first world war, the magazine featured a compelling examination of existing measures that have been taken to help homeless veterans.

McNamee says, “We listened to what readers told us about what they liked, we looked at what worked, we got rid of things that had served well but were unnecessary and we introduced new elements. And always, our vendors are front and centre of what we do and what we produce. I’m hugely proud of what we have delivered. We remain a voice for those in Britain without a voice.”

The magazine presents a number of new additions to its content. Such an addition is a Vendor City Guide, which is an alternative guide for major tourist cities, seen from the eyes of the street magazine vendors and offering their unique perspective.

The magazine includes a new section called Change Makers, which celebrates people that make a change in the world. It focuses on the people behind great ideas that can have a positive impact in the word and it resembles a profile piece. 

Publishing and business development MD, Russell Blackman, says, “We wanted to create something that vendors could really get behind and sell. It’s a vibrant, modern feeling magazine that is still unlike any other title out there. The new look comes as we continue to grow what we are doing digitally, which helps to position The Big Issue as one of the leading titles in Britain. We head into Christmas with renewed energy.”

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