We’ve been following and reading Another Escape for a few years now, ever engrossed in their well-written content and rich imagery. With their newest volume now available, complete with an updated brand identity and magazine design, we thought it would be a great time to ask the co-founders all about the magazine, how it came to be and what it’s like to run a printed magazine in the digital dominated world.
Firstly, can you describe what Another Escape is all about?
Another Escape is an outdoor lifestyle, creative culture and sustainable living journal that celebrates the stories of passionate people inspired by nature. We cover a disparate selection of subject matter all deep-rooted in exploration, creativity, innovation and discovery. We aim to be a source of inspiration for those who seek an active and considered lifestyle, by encouraging an optimistic, forward-thinking and responsible mindset.
Now that we know more about you, how did you start up Another Escape?
Another Escape was started myself and co-founder and creative director Jody Daunton in 2012. The aim has always been to be a source of inspiration for people, and although over the years our niche has tightened, we continue to tell stories of passionate people which are inspiring, uplifting and easy to connect to.
With our complimentary skillsets and a small amount of experience in print media, Jody and I, co-founders of Another Escape, felt that this venture would be perfect for us. At times, the learning curve has been steep, but overall it has been a very exciting project and business to work on and set up, and we are happy to say that we’ve built up a readership who enjoy our stories, which is incredibly motivating and humbling.
The nature of many jobs these days sees people indoors, sat at computers. How do you balance your computer time when creating the magazine with getting outdoors?
Aha, this is a tricky one, especially when we spend so long working on content focussed on the outdoors. It often makes us pine at the window. But I think it’s the same with any job: knowing when to switch off and get away from the screen. It sounds pretty cliché but it’s about making the time to get outdoors. And of course, it’s more productive sometimes to go for that run, hike, climb, or whatever; it gets you in a different mindset that can lead to breakthroughs with work.
Speaking of the world delving ever deeper into the digital realm, what keeps you driven to create a printed publication, rather than taking it fully online?
Another Escape was always intended to be a print publication. People interact with printed matter differently to digital: digital is largely about quick reads and short attention spans. Whereas, our publication invites and encourages people to step away from the screen, slow down, read lengthier pieces and interact with something tactile. I think there’s a place for print and a place for digital, and they can complement one another.
You often take trips yourselves to discover and document new places, (this must be a great perk of the job!). Where does your next adventure take you?
For the first time in a long while, we aren’t sure where we’ll next be heading. At the moment, we are concentrating on launching Volume Nine: The Wilderness Volume and working on Volume Ten: The Altitudes Volume.
Yeah, it’s an incredible perk of the job. A few years ago we found that we were commissioning out all the fun jobs and found ourselves mostly back in the office directing, producing and editing. And then we thought, hey, let’s get out there more ourselves. So Jody and I began taking a more hands-on role with content creation for some of the stories.
You have always had a distinct visual style and great imagery. How do you find consistently stunning visual content to accompany the copy?
Visual storytelling has always been at the fore of Another Escape. Imagery has the ability to transport you to another place, and coupled with well-formed words you can create these incredible experiences for the reader.
However, it’s always the story that comes first; we don’t just feature pretty pictures. And once we’ve found a solid story idea, we find a talented photographer who works to our style and gets what we are about, and work closely with them to produce the shoot. When we find someone who really gets us, we like to work with them again and again. And this has helped build up our visual style.
Volume nine, The Wilderness Volume, has just launched and you have spent a long time altering your visual style. What made you want to re-design?
It’s now been five years since we began working on Another Escape, and since entering the world of independent publishing we’ve learnt a great deal and have grown considerably as a publication and as its editorial and creative directors. We’ve always been driven to produce stories that are inspiring and uplifting, but over time Another Escape’s niche has tightened and our style of storytelling has evolved too. And at the beginning of 2017, we felt it was time to consider how we could reflect our evolution visually and create a more unified brand.
We spoke with readers and people who are close to the brand to understand what direction we should take, and then embarked on the lengthy process of figuring things out. To do the rebrand and redesign, we worked with the talented designers at She Was Only studio in London, who really excelled in bringing new life to Another Escape.
Some of the most noticeable changes are in navigation and sectioning of the magazine and the loss of the icons. Ultimately, we felt the format we had previously had become too rigid for us to be creative in the flow of the publication, the feature formats, and overall the types of stories we could have within a volume. Having a looser structure has given a freedom and fluidity that we believe enhances the reading experience and makes for more interesting content. Additionally, the design of the editorial layouts: we wanted each story to have its own pace and presence on the page depending on its tone and journey. She Was Only did a great job in creating a more varied yet holistic look and feel.
What kinds of content can we expect from the new volume?
The Wilderness Volume, as you may have guessed, is focussed on the theme of wilderness. We began with the questions: what is wilderness, and what does it mean to be wild? And we worked outwards from there. Content ranges from stories about a cabin builder in the Pacific Northwest, to a digital nomad favouring the forest over bricks and mortar, to mule packing into the wilderness of Montana, to a printmaker who draws inspiration from her woodland surrounds and her deep connection to nature to create work. We have an essay about the problems and necessities of separating humans from wilderness, an article about authentic ways to reconnect with our innate sensibilities and feel inherently more wild, and a long read that investigates just how untouched our wild places actually are and how palaeoecology holds the key to finding out.
Our travel section is focussed on the the wilds of Romania and the country’s ancient forests that teem with wildlife and sprawl over the mountainous terrain of the Carpathian Mountains. This incredible wilderness stronghold and its unique dynamic with human activity is a rarity for our heavily developed continent, and it is because of this that we wanted to share and celebrate some of the amazing stories of passion, preservation and conservation from this wild and bosky country. To create them, we teamed up with the Association of Ecotourism in Romania (AER), an organisation doing groundbreaking work to bring together the public and the private sector in a partnership for nature conservation and sustainable tourism development in Romania – for anyone wanted to experience the country and support sustainable travel, we’d urge them to check them out and get in touch www.eco-romania.ro/en.
So, yeah, lots of exciting stuff. And there’s lighter reads and longer reads, for whatever your mood. And because we have increased the page count and the number of features, this volume should keep you going for a good while.
What’s next for Another Escape?
Ah, that would be telling. There’s a number of projects we are currently working on or looking at venturing into, which will hopefully come to fruition in the new year. We are currently finishing an exciting collaboration with Under the Skin to create hand-crafted, UV screen prints of endangered animals, which will launch very soon – you can check it out at www.undertheskin.co.uk/wallace.
Something that we are keen to do is continue to build our community and offer something in-between publishing our volumes. This will see a regular newsletter and more events. Oh, and we are also working on a new website. Exciting times!
Together with Another Escape we’re giving away a two magazine subscription including their latest edition The Wilderness Volume. Head to our Instagram to enter.
All photos, unless otherwise specified, courtesy of Another Escape.