Green group launches 'edgy' mag to attract young support

By Alyson Fixter

Environmental campaign group Friends Of The Earth has launched a “sharp and edgy” member magazine aimed at younger supporters.

Friend, produced with graphic designer Steve Price, has a design-led
approach and editorial content targeted at a cosmopolitan audience aged
between 25 and 35.

It will feature interviews with musicians and actors who support green causes as well as fashion, art, sports and politics.

regular feature will be a column of “pub conversations” suggesting how
readers can convince friends who are sceptical about issues such as
global warming.

The first edition, out on 21 February, features
an exclusive interview with the brains behind Cuba’s Buena Vista Social
Club, Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, with portraits by Guardian photographer
Eamonn McCabe.

Bastien Hibon, art director at Friends of the
Earth, said: “We wanted something sharp and edgy in terms of look, and
fun and accessible in terms of tone.

“Our supporters are a sharp, cultured bunch and they deserve a magazine that talks their language.”

Price, of Plan-b Studio, said: “Being invited to develop and design a
magazine from scratch for such an established organisation like Friends
of the Earth is an incredible opportunity.

“The title Friend came
about from the desire to make the magazine feel more like a letter, a
personal note, hence the inclusion of a comma [in the masthead].

manager Adam Bradbury said: “Our research shows that there is broad
public interest in the environment and people believe Friends of the
Earth is doing great work, but there are some barriers to them getting
involved with us.

“Some people simply don’t have the time to read
our flagship supporter magazine Earthmatters, and the depth and detail
probably frightens newcomers off. Plus, the environmental movement has
some historical problems with its image.”

He said that if the
compact-size mag was a success it might in future be given away free as
a cover-mount with paidfor lifestyle titles to widen its reach.

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