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Humble brag time: Idealog's augmented reality issue wins Best Cover at the 2019 Magazine Awards

Humble brag time: Idealog's augmented reality issue wins Best Cover at the 2019 Magazine Awards

You may remember the augmented reality cover Idealog released last year for the 2018 Technology Issue – it's in such hot demand, we barely have any copies left to refer to due to them being constantly snapped up by fans. Idealog and the collaborators on the cover were awarded for their efforts at the 2019 Magazine Awards last night by winning best cover in the business and trade category, beating out the likes of NZ Listener and Metro. Here, we revisit the design process behind the cover. 

At a glitzy affair held at The Stables in Ellerslie last night, Idealog took out the Best Cover award for its Augmented Reality cover from its 2018 Technology Issue. 

Editor of Idealog, Elly Strang, says the win was a show of Idealog's core values as a magazine of design and innovation were communicated well.

"As a publication that is constantly writing about innovation, we talked the talked and walked the walk with this augmented reality cover representing the future of New Zealand's tech industry and the team is very stoked with being recognised with a win. It was a hugely creative and collaborative effort and credit goes to all the different parties that contributed to it, especially 3D motion graphic artist Guangyu Li and Staples VR, who created the AR component."

Last year's Technology issue's cover began as a brief from the Idealog team to create an artwork that represented New Zealand's technology sector reaching new heights. This was given to 3D motion graphic artist Guangyu Li, who brought the idea to life with creative direction from Idealog's lead designer Wade Wu, before Staples VR took that idea even further with the help of AR. 

Li said he drew inspiration for his piece from sci-fi films like Interstellar and Blade Runner, but ultimately came up with his own take on the futuristic city genre. He also went on a creative journey to figure out the centre piece of the image: the Sky Tower.

“The design outcome came from my intuition and through action-based design of constructing and mixing different architecture,” Li said. “The period of the time I grew up in also plays an undeniable role, such as the look and feel of video games from the '80s and '90s. I had to find a fine line between my influences and the recognisable identity of the Sky Tower in its current shape.”

Once the illustration had been created, Staples VR took over and made an AR experience for this cover that further drew on this future concept.

"The AR artwork poses questions about the future of transport and engineering and further teases common and not so distant predictions of technological influence such as levitating buildings, hover cars and delivery drones," lead creative on the project Jason Delaveau said.

You can see the technology come to life in the video below. 

In a move that was a huge surprise yet at the same time not at all a surprise, our sister publication NZ Marketing Magazine also took out the Supreme Award for Best Magazine at the awards, beating out the competition and claiming its rightful crown as best of the best. Bow down.

NZ Marketing was up against some industry heavyweights for the best supreme magazine, such as NZ House & Garden, NZ Gardener, The Listener, Dairy Exporter, and Woman's Day. 


From left: The NZ Marketing dream team made of editor Erin Mckenzie and sales manager Vernene Medcalf. 

On stage editor Erin McKenzie said to be reporting on the industry was a pleasure and a privilege. She acknowledged the hard work of her team and the other inspiring winners of the night. Sales manager Vernene Medcalf, as quoted on night commented: “We won, bitches!”

Check out their full coverage of the awards on StopPress here. And if you've made it this far, a massive thankyou for supporting Idealog and all the work we do! 

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).