Weekender: Creative agency scores with new quarterly

Pitch - Stories of Modern Sport: launched this month by STENCIL managing director Andy Afford and creative director Sam Bowles

Nottingham creative agency STENCIL has launched a new quarterly multi-sports magazine which its readers have described as “feeling like a British version of Sports Illustrated.”

The inaugural issue of Pitch includes pieces on Jürgen Klopp, the rise of the Exeter Chiefs, England cricketer James Anderson and international gymnastics superstar Simone Biles.

Partnering with publisher Kevin Whitchurch, the plan, according to STENCIL’s managing director Andy Afford, is to expand the portfolio by producing an entertainment title, Pitch – Stories of Modern Music.

STENCIL’s creative director Sam Bowles said: “This magazine project is very much a case of us putting our money where our mouth is.

“A way of demonstrating exactly what our studio can do; and in doing so testing the our ability to create high-quality, editorially-led design from scratch.

“Alongside a digital platform that’s being planned, it would effectively mean us delivering eight print magazines a year. All sharing the same name, editorial values & principles, and core team.”

He added: “We describe ourselves as a purpose-led agency. With the varied list of names of the people working on the title being a good indicator of what we do and how we do things. And that all-round inclusivity is something we’re particularly proud of.”

STENCIL is a partner of Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham Trent University Business School and Young Creatives Nottingham.

Andy Afford said: “It’s a simple fact that design work that’s dead-behind-the-eyes and lacking vitality fails to cut through. We love what we do. And the mindset for all businesses of reviewing the standards of their output is crucial as a sense-check. Challenging ourselves to ‘do better’ is what we’ve done here. And we’re always happy to do so. For ourselves, and for clients longstanding, and new.”