THE PORTFOLIO WEBSITE OF MARC BACKWELL
  • CONCEPTS

    I have conceived, designed and launched publishing brands, encompassing print, digital and social media.

  • ART DIRECTION

    Award-winning art direction on newsstand and customer magazines for brands such as NZ Geographic, British Airways and Mercedes.

  • DIGITAL

    Concept and UI design of websites, HTML newsletters and tablet and smartphone apps for IOS and Android.

  • INTERNATIONAL

    International experience as a designer and art director in London, Melbourne, Auckland and Cape Town.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
Steve Jobs
Design must reflect the practical and aesthetic in business but above all, good design must primarily serve people.
Thomas J Watson
You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Mark Twain
Design is where science and art break even.
Robin Mathew

awards

  • 2014

    Designer of the Year (Pro Photographer)
    MPA Magazine Awards (NZ)

    Best Cover (Pro Photographer)
    MPA Magazine Awards (NZ)

    Best Use of Photography (NZ Geographic)
    MPA Magazine Awards (NZ)

  • 2013

    Best Use of Photography (NZ Geographic)
    MPA Magazine Awards (NZ)

    Magazine of the Year (NZ Geographic)
    Canon Media Awards (NZ)

  • 2012

    Designer of the Year (NZ Geographic)
    MPA Magazine Awards (NZ)

    Best Cover (NZ Geographic)
    MPA Magazine Awards (NZ)

    Best Use of Photography (NZ Geographic)
    MPA Magazine Awards (NZ)

  • 1999

    Designer of the Year (High Life)
    APA Awards (UK)


bio

Started at Women’s Value at Naspers in 1993. Moved to London in 1995 and employed as an art editor at Premier Magazines, launching titles for Nikon, Asda and Vauxhall. Was made art director of High Life, the British Airways inflight magazine in 1997.

In 2002 I was recruited by Hardie Grant magazines in Australia, where I art directed their flagship title for Mercedes Australia. I also help successfully pitch for, and launch, Beomag, the Bang & Olofsen customer magazine. Joined Rare Publishing in London as creative director in 2003. Launched titles for BMI Baby airline, the Teacher Training Agency, and AirMiles Travel Company. Left in 2005 to form a publishing partnership, Cream Publishing, and launched successful customer magazines for EDF Energy, QVC and The Carphone Warehouse.

Moved to Auckland in 2008 with my family, and was employed as group art director at Tangible Media, one of New Zealand’s top independent publishers. I redesigned a number of their titles such as Classic Driver, the music magazine Real Groove, and NZ Rugby World, which went on to win the MPA Magazine of the Year the following year. I also helped launch customer magazines for Mercury Energy and Telecom.

In 2011, myself and New Zealand Geographic’s editor bought the title from it’s previous publisher and formed our own company. We embarked on a major design overhaul of the magazine, including the website, and have also since made the entire archive of the 25-year-old magazine available online as an educational resource.

In 2012, we launched Pro Photographer, a suite of products, print and digital, aimed at professional and enthusiastic amateur photographers. The brand consists of a bi-monthly print magazine, a smartphone app (IOS and Android), an iPad app, a responsive e-commerce website, and a monthly HTML newsletter. The magazine has been very successful and is already an MPA award-winner.

In 2013 we began publishing Mana, New Zealand’s only national magazine for Maori, under license to its previous publisher. We completely redesigned and repositioned the title as a lifestyle magazine, launched an accompanying smartphone app, and redesigned the website as a responsive news-based web portal. The magazine has been very well received by advertisers and readers alike and, in a world of declining magazine sales, seen an increase in retail and subscription sales.

Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.
Jeffrey Zeldman

    some brands I've worked with

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