Big Issue undergoes redesign to mark 30 years of publication

The Big Issue has today launched its latest instalment, with a redesign marking 30 years of publication. The magazine has been revamped throughout – from content to layout – to create a high-impact product designed to meet the needs of both vendors and readers. The new styling was developed by by Matt Willey, who recently redesigned the New York Times Magazine, and The Big Issue’s Editor, Paul McNamee.

“The 30th anniversary was the perfect time to change the look of The Big Issue and it is an incredibly exciting step forward for us,” said McNamee. “Following the relaunch of site, the new look magazine is high on impact. We started with the cover design, we made it bold and arresting. We wanted to ensure that it can deliberately be seen on the street from 50 feet away. This is vital, as our vendors have always told us, the more noticeable the cover is, the more likely they are to sell it.”

“We have re-designed the content of the magazine as well. It now offers a more immediate front section with greater use of photography and curates the biggest issues of the week. We can’t wait for our readers and vendors alike to see our new look publication.”

Paul Cheal, Group CEO of The Big Issue, added: “Unfortunately, streets up and down the UK are unlikely to return to how they were pre-pandemic. Changing lifestyle and work patterns mean that city centres will be emptier, making sales for vendors far tougher. As we looked to return following lockdown last year, we realised we had to change and rebuild to serve our vendors more, to help them earn in more varied ways, and to also work for those who may have been our readers.”

“The magazine had to be more impactful, to feel more active and campaigning, a place that would challenge those in leadership if their policies punished those most in need, and also a place that would agitate for those at risk – calling on governments to act, and third sectors to unify and mobilise. We want to galvanise readers to become changemakers. We want this to bring us to a whole new generation of Big Issue readers and supporters, so we can help sell more magazines and in turn help more vendors.”

As the redesign indicates, the publication recently celebrated its 30th birthday. In that time, the organisation has helped more than 105,000 vendors earn over £144 million. Since its launch in 1991, over 200 million copies of The Big Issue have been sold.

The social enterprise at large is on a mission to deliver a world that works for everyone, creating and offering self-help and sustainable business solutions that dismantle poverty now and for future generations. Vendors come from a variety of backgrounds and face a range of issues, but all are experiencing the effects of poverty. 

In addition to its bolder, more visible cover, the new-approach magazine incorporates greater use of photography and curates the biggest issues of the week, as well as new sections, including a digest of news and views that set out The Big Issue agenda. 

You can buy a copy of the special new look issue out from today from your local vendor. Alternatively, subscribe online or donate to the campaign.


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