Wallpaper* Turns 20 and Pulls Out the Stops for the Anniversary Issue

wallpaper-20years“We now begin with design and the world is a better place.” ~ Wallpaper* editor-in-chief 

When Wallpaper* launched in 1996, the concept of design “was still largely considered a last-minute bolt-on, a perfunctory styling job. We now begin with design and the world is a better-designed place,” says the magazine’s editor-in-chief Tony Chambers.

This fall the magazine, which covers the cutting edge in design in a variety of fields, is celebrating 20 years of success with some wildly clever cover variations and their largest issue ever.

“The heavyweight issue runs to a total of 508 pages, which includes 230 pages of display advertising,” notes this article from Professional Publishers Association.

“Throughout this issue we celebrate the people (and products and places) who have transformed our world – and their own – over the past two decades,” Chambers explains. “1996 was certainly something of a springboard year. It was the year Jony Ive took charge of Apple’s design team. It was the year Raf Simons held his first solo menswear show and Elon Musk started his first company, Zip2 Corporation. Peter Zumthor produced his landmark work, the Therme Vals, and SANAA completed its first project, the S-House in Okayama. Ian Schrager opened the Mondrian Los Angeles, designed by Philippe Starck. Larry Page and his Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, began collaborating on their first search engine. 1996 also produced one of the greatest Dom Pérignon vintages and it was the year Victoria Beckham (as one fifth of the Spice Girls) burst onto the stage with Wannabe.”

That’s a lot of innovation in one year, and the 20th-anniversary issue celebrates it all with a nod to its origins, and a far-from-typical cover.

“A limited-edition run of the anniversary edition features an exclusive cover artwork by British designer/architect Thomas Heatherwick. The ‘Friction Cover’ can be lifted and stretched out to reveal a birthday message,” the PPA article notes.

“The remainder of the print run has been designed so that readers can create their own Friction Cover, with instructions on how to transform the cover via a special kit available on request at wallpaper.com,” it continues.

How fitting that a magazine that celebrates design innovations should do something this outside-the-box for their own anniversary.

Publisher Malcolm Young added: “With growing display yields and volume, Wallpaper*’s continued success is fittingly marked with this 20th anniversary edition complete with special paper stocks, innovative cover execution and unique poster inside. It’s a celebration of creativity in print, also reflected in the six ‘Bespoke’ projects in the issue from brand display campaigns we’ve designed to native print executions.”

As anyone who works in print understands, print design is in a state of high innovation, made possible in large part by the huge advances in printing technology. We wish Wallpaper* much success on this unique issue, and continued innovation for years to come.