Youthwork Magazine

14 December 2010 — 2 Comments

The new-look Youthwork Magazine

Youthwork Magazine has been running in the UK for around 19 years and is the only dedicated youth ministry publication that I know of. In fact, it’s possibly now the only regular dedicated magazine for any work with young people in the UK!

It has been a regular part of my diet for the last 8 years or so and has always carried interesting features and articles, but for some reason it has never become one of those essential, staple foods that I need to survive. Despite subscribing, I rarely read a whole issue. Instead I usually put it in my bag, carry it round for a while and then dip into it here and there when I have a few moments to kill – I guess I snack on it occasionally like a guilty binge on a chocolate bar. Now though, I think my eating habits are about to change!

The new-look magazine launched this month (as Volume 2, Issue 1) is quite a big departure, at least stylistically, from what has gone before. Instead of the glossy, staple-bound product, we’ve now got a sharp matt-finish magazine that uses sustainable, chlorine-free paper and is spine-bound like other major monthly publications. The result is that it somehow feels much higher quality.

This quality is also reflected in the design. Taking on their very first Art Director for the magazine, Phil Revell has simply got rid of everything that went before and rebuilt it from the ground up to better reflect the focus of the content. Gone is the familiar but tired logo and title on the cover, replaced with a simple capitalised block title and a variety of different stylish fonts, shapes and translucent colours highlighting each feature over a simple, yet beautiful shot of a young person. Inside, the whole magazine makes much better use of fonts and layout, forgoing gaudy colourful text boxes and backgrounds for simple and crisp black-on-white text with occasional and subtle highlights from a defined palette. The effect is a far cooler, relaxed, and more mature magazine.

While much of the content is familiar (editorial, lead article, case study, session resources, etc), in this new format it strangely has more gravitas and holds your attention longer. Its the sort of difference between reading The Beano and picking up Frank Miller’s graphic novels: it’s the same art form, yet an entirely different experience.

Essentially, to use a youth-related simile – it feels like Youthwork Magazine has come through the awkward stage of puberty, putting aside some of its childish habits on the way. It still has that same character, but has finally found its confidence as a young adult in its own identity.


As a bonus, the new youthwork.co.uk website launches today as the companion to the magazine. While I’ve no idea what content will be featured online, I’m excited as the previous website was a missed opportunity for engaging with workers. If it’s anything like magazine, it should be good!

Jon

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I am a qualified youth worker, writer and consultant based in Littlehampton, UK. I've worked in the voluntary youth sector for over 12 years, am married to Kirsty and we have two daughters named Hope and Eloise. Check out 'Journeying Together: Growing Youth Work and Youth Workers in Local Communities' and read my opening chapter.

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