Rapha’s text-loving publication is gearing up our aesthetics
Even though digital media has gone through turbulent times in the past few years, it is print that has more often been considered the endangered species of publishing. That is not the case for Mondial. Rapha’s new bi-annual magazine Mondial that was launched on July 17 and has anyone who is into a text-heavy project raving about. Containing long form writing, photography, and in-depth reportage all connected to cycling, Mondial is Rapha’s latest venture, bringing a cycling viewpoint to wider cultural subjects and broadens the sport’s reference points. “Our ambition for Mondial is to broaden the horizons of what road cycling is and what the sport can be. We have structured the magazine to take you on a journey, from familiar and comfortable ‘foothills’ to more challenging climbs and cols where the views are even more rewarding” writes Simon Mottram, the founder and chief executive of Rapha, in the foreword to issue one of the magazine.
Known for its refined and classic aesthetic, lifestyle bicycle brand Rapha has extended its sophisticated style to the magazine’s design. “One of the toughest extensions for any brand to manage is the development of editorial representations of its character and aesthetic” comments magCulture’s Jeremy Leslie. “That Mondial succeeds so well shouldn’t be a surprise; the Rapha brand has barely set a foot wrong since its launch 11 years ago” she added.
“Black text on pink paper is a direct homage to the front cover of the Gazzetta Della Sport, the Italian newspaper that was responsible for the creation of the Giro d’Italia in 1909”
“Mondial provides a chance for us to solidify the aesthetic of our brand in the minds of our customers rather than reinvent it. Inside, the typographic treatments are tweaked in-house styles, which have been refined for the specific editorial requirements of the magazine” says the brand’s art director Jack Saunders. “Black text on pink paper is a direct homage to the front cover of the Gazzetta Della Sport, the Italian newspaper that was responsible for the creation of the Giro d’Italia in 1909” he commented. Being a members’ magazine that’s sold online and shipped directly to Rapha's customers, Mondial had the chance to break away from conventional editorial guidelines. Throughout the 162 pages of mixed paper stocks typography rules. Mondial’s new bespoke typeface has direct references to the letterforms found in the Gazzetta circa ’70s.
“There are many magazines that influenced the design of Mondial. Titles of note such as Twen, and more recently, those designed by Matt Willey, are great examples of editorial design that have had varying degrees of influence over magazines in general and thus Mondial” says the art director of this slick designed, text-heavy bi-annual project that is a follow up to Rouleur magazine -after all Rapha was the original backer of the publication, which was founded in 2006 and was sold in 2012).
Following its tenth year anniversary, Rapha is raising the bar with an inaugural issue that sees the company moving in exciting new directions. “Anyone addicted to road cycling knows the sport is about much more than fitness and gear. For road riders, the sport lies at the heart of their identity and is the lens through which they view the world. The past decade has seen an explosion in cycling media, both online and in print. Rapha believes it is time for the sport to show renewed ambition” says the company. Obviously, typography is a wheel of change.