The Kick-Off Meeting

The Blizzard is a quarterly football magazine for discerning football fans everywhere. Inspired by a Victorian-era newspaper, it sprang from the imagination of two friends, and was brought to life by those creative types at Daykin & Storey.

March 2010 - like so many great ideas, this one started down the pub. Sports writer Jonathan Wilson and an old school friend were out celebrating a famous 4-0 win for Sunderland, when conversation turned to what was lacking in football journalism. Soon, a compelling idea began to emerge.

The Concept

Jonathan had long toyed with the idea of producing a football magazine that would be genuinely different to anything else on the shelves - a publication of real quality and substance, with an eclectic style, harking back to values and traditions often missing from the modern game.

It would be written by a wide network of contributors from across Britain and overseas, enjoying an editorial freedom seldom afforded to journalists, and would be filled with immersive articles, running to several thousands words in length.

But what to call it?

The Brand

Jonathan knew well the story of The Blizzard, a charming and eccentric newspaper which enjoyed a short run during Sunderland’s Victorian pomp and was the work of one man, Sidney Duncan. Although short-lived, the paper was brilliantly done and it planted a seed in the minds of the Blizzard team more than a century later.

As Jonathan set about enlisting writer friends and contacts for the project, our designers went to work on the magazine, to get the business up and running.

Instructions from the Dugout

We were asked to come up with something smart and impressive - luxurious, even - in a format somewhere between a book and a magazine.

Our designers excelled themselves - coming up with a handsome publication, with a tasteful monochrome theme and muted colours used sparingly throughout. Its vintage feel comes partly from the original Blizzard masthead and from a minimalist design aesthetic. With some of the world’s pre-eminent football writers amongst The Blizzard’s contributors, the Daykin & Storey team were keen not to guild the lily.

The wistful cover art conveys an innocent and timeless love of the game, connecting a bygone age to a fashionable present, reinforced by more abstract hand-drawn illustration that replaces traditional photography throughout. From first glance, The Blizzard is no ordinary football magazine.

Web design

We built the website using the e-commerce platform Lemonstand, with functionality including a subscription element, an online shop, and a digital version available to download on a 'pay what you please' basis.

The website is mobile friendly - great for fans so used to feeding their addiction for football content on the move - and has a social media feed which brings the magazine’s community to the fore. It was through social media that the magazine first found an audience and a place in the hearts of contributors, writers, football fans, and pundits everywhere.

Like the magazine, the website has a clean look but a warm and engaging tone. To hold a copy in your hands is to understand the passion and integrity that goes into producing it, a textured varnish on the cover lends an attention to detail that speaks of a purposefully print-first philosophy in a digital age. The Blizzard is the culmination of a dream several years in the making - or perhaps more than a century.

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