The art of magazines

In more than 100 countries across the world, members of the Keepers of the Quaich will be receiving their beautifully illustrated edition of The Keeper, the magazine we produce twice a year for the historic Scotch Whisky industry society.

We always endeavour to use illustrations to diversify the way the magazines look, and Edinburgh-based artist Peter Jones had already appeared within the pages of The Keeper.

There had never been an illustration on the cover of The Keeper, however, so when discussing what we could do with the next issue, Peter was suggested. He is known for painting ‘portraits’ of houses, so it seemed obvious to commission him to paint Blair Castle, known to many as the Keepers’ spiritual home as their banquets are held there every spring and autumn. More than 40 new Keepers and five new Masters from all over the world are inducted into the organisation at these events, so every member will recognise the castle.

Account manager Neil Braidwood said: “When thinking about how the watercolour could make the most impact on the cover, we had the idea of wrapping the image to the back cover as well. This worked perfectly as the front elevation of the castle is wide and lends itself to this treatment. Peter worked in proportion to the dimensions we gave him, so once scanned, everything fitted perfectly.”

This issue of The Keeper actually has three original commissioned illustrations, and we briefed local artists to come up with ideas for some of the articles. It’s important to use illustration to help break up the pace of a magazine, and it’s often the best way to solve a complex article.

Account manager Neil Braidwood said: “The feature by Dave Broom on people’s perception of taste just wouldn’t have worked with a straightforward photograph, so we commissioned Glen McBeth to illustrate the article. We worked closely with him, as we wanted to overlay text on the artwork, and he was able to accommodate that.”

The illustration of Blair Castle proved to be a big hit with our client, who wants to frame it for the office and use the image on a greetings card!

Keepers of the Quaich Director Annabel Meikle said: “I love Peter’s watercolours, and I especially love the way he has portrayed Blair Castle in this painting – it’s like a living, breathing thing. I can’t wait to see it come to life on the festive card.”

Find out more about Keepers of the Quaich and Illustrators Peter Jones and Glen McBeth on their websites. For more on how we can help with your publications email, or call +44(0)141 561 0300.