'In our eyes, curiosity and creativity come hand in hand. Time spent in nature, exploring and travelling, has long been known to be a great source of inspiration for our creativity, so naturally, there’s a tie between them. It clears the mind, broadens our perspectives and encourages us to think in new ways.'
Words by Rachel Taylor | Photography by Another Escape
It’s been five years since Rachel Taylor & Jody Daunton curated Another Escape magazine. 8 volumes of exploration, curiosity & adventurous story-telling later, they felt it was time to consider how they could reflect their evolution visually. We had a great time with the team at our first Travel Collective event, where Rachel was speaking, finding out more about the re-branding of the magazine, Volume 9. and what lies ahead for this adventurous pair.
How was Another Escape born and what was your initial purpose as a brand?
Another Escape is an outdoor lifestyle, creative culture and sustainable living journal that celebrates the stories of passionate people inspired by nature. We began with the desire to tell inspiring stories of people who are passionate about their lifestyles and livelihoods. The aim has always been to be a source of inspiration for those seeking fulfilled and considered lives.
Over the years, we’ve featured incredible individuals who are curious, creative and have a deep connection with the natural world. As the producers and publishers, some of the experiences we’ve had with these people and the stories we’ve heard have not only been insightful but have impacted our own lives, opening us to new ways of thinking and living. It is this that we look to translate in our stories for our readers to experience too.
What was the vision for the 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. 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.
Storytelling really lies at the heart of what we do, so we began by stripping things back, removing the rather rigid navigation system and sectioning, so we could create great stories unhindered by formatting.
What were the main challenges that came up in the re-design and what were the most enjoyable moments?
When you’ve been so close to a project for so many years, it feels a bit heart wrenching to say goodbye to something you know – even if ultimately it will make the brand and product better. Our icons, for example, became synonymous with Another Escape, so to wave goodbye to those left a bit of a lump in the throat. But there were no quick decisions: everything was carefully considered, and we consulted with our readers by way of surveys earlier in the year and spoke with a lot of people who are close with the brand to gain their insights. This happened way before we even began to discuss what a rebrand may look like; we wanted to be sure that we were making a sound decision. Because the process was so lengthy, with the time taken to really think things through, it made it all the more enjoyable. If we were unsure about something, we didn’t rush to make a decision, we stared at it and tinkered with it until it felt right.
Who did you work with for the re-design?We worked with the wonderful folk at She Was Only. They are some really talented designers, and they really looked after Another Escape. I’m sure we weren’t the easiest people to work with, but they listened carefully to us throughout the process and worked things through. We like their work and felt their approach to design would be perfect to take Another Escape in a new direction whilst considering our visual storytelling and the tone and feel we wanted.
What have been those pivotal moments in Another Escapes existence that keep you doing what you do?
In certain moments there are these little rushes of excitement. Like when we get sent a beautiful image set. When we finish editing an article. When we begin to see it all get pieced together. When the sheets begin flying off the lithograph press. When we crack the spine of a new volume for the first time. There’s also this burning drive to always make a better product. Each of our team has their favourite volume, and I think we are all striving to make the next one better than that. It’s extremely motivating. Ultimately though, it’s the reception we get from our readers. Honestly, there have been times when we’ve wondered whether we should continue to publish, and then we receive an email from a reader telling us how much they connected with the content and how things they’ve read within our pages have impacted their life. This is incredibly humbling and something we never predicted when we started out.
What ties creativity and exploration together for you?
In our eyes, curiosity and creativity come hand in hand. Time spent in nature, exploring and travelling, has long been known to be a great source of inspiration for our creativity, so naturally, there’s a tie between them. It clears the mind, broadens our perspectives and encourages us to think in new ways.
For people out there with ideas, dreams and ambitions to follow their own path, have you any advice on how to get started?
In a feature in Volume Nine: The Wilderness Volumes, someone told us, “what you fill your days with is what you fill your life with.” It's so true, and I’d urge anyone to take the time to figure out what it is that makes them feel happy and fulfilled in life.But I think that when people say “follow your own path”, many understand it to mean jack it all in and start your own business. It can mean this, but it needn’t. It needn’t be a rushed decision either; a lot of people, even deep into adulthood, still haven’t quite figured out what they want to be when they grow up, and that’s fine too. Lots of the people we speak to for Another Escape didn’t begin what they are doing until they were in their 40s or 50s. It’s refreshing to realise that there are many chapters to our lives and each can have a slightly different narrative. On a more practical note, however, if setting up a business is something you’re considering, I’d say it’s best to be prepared. Venturing out into a new field or business can often mean sacrificing in other areas of your life while you invest time, energy, and even money into what you’re pursuing. You also need to be smart about things: do research, speak to others in the field, really be sure that this is your passion. Not everyone would consider themselves an entrepreneur but setting up a new venture demands entrepreneurial skills and spirit. Be prepared. Be smart. Be confident. And when you are ready, go for it.
What is your hope for Another Escape, where do you see the brand developing in the future?
We’d like to continue to grow our readership and community. Building a community of like-minded people is something that we are currently working on, and hopefully in the future this will means more events, more collaborations and partnerships in whatever sense, and generally getting more people feeling curious, creative, and excited about their connection with nature and the great outdoors.
Over the past five years, we’ve learnt that it’s great to have a vision but it is also necessary to be adaptable and open to opportunity. So, although we don’t know exactly where we’ll be in ten years time, we feel that as long as we are still inspiring people, we’re on track.