By Enric Adell - Art Director for Rouleur and Volata
The magazine cover is without a doubt the most demanding and stressful part of designing every issue, but also the most rewarding when everything comes out as planned. The cover of the Mind issue is one of these cases.
Rather than using a beautiful cycling action photo, we try to come up with conceptual ideas, where the visual codes of the sport can have a second meaning and represent deeper concepts when combined or manipulated in a certain way. We have all seen images of people wearing a weird helmet covered in cables and electrodes having their thoughts scanned or monitored so I thought that we could mix this with the cycling element, here being the helmet, to convey the idea of analysing the mind of the cyclist.
In the initial sketches, it was only a helmet with some electrodes attached to it. It was only later in the process that we decided that it would make for a better cover if we had someone wearing the helmet. For us, it is important to consider each cover not as a standalone image but one in the context of a series, and we realised that the two previous covers had been only objects, so we needed that human element in this one.
With the idea finally in place, it was time to make it happen. I started working in the making of the helmet prop. For the helmet we spoke to our friend Ulysse from Met during Rouleur Live and they were very kind to provide us with two Mantas helmets, one grey and one white. The making of the electrodes was without a doubt the trickiest part. Getting real electrodes would have been very expensive, and hard to get them in the short time that we had left, so I decided to build them myself. They didn’t need to be real, working electrodes, just good enough to look the part on camera and convey the intended message. I went to my local home-improvement store where I found the strings for the cables and white chair leg caps that turned out to be the perfect size and which I adorned with metallic collar beams to add some extra detail.
In the meantime I contacted Rotterdam-based photographer Antim Wijnaendts so he could start setting the studio with the proper lights and background. He also helped me to look for the right person to model for us. We decided to go with Nickhy, from Editorial Models Management. She’s got beautiful curly hair that we thought would look good pouring down from the helmet, mirroring the tangled cables on top of the helmet.
The day of the shooting went pretty smoothly and we managed to get a lot of frontal and profile shots, with different expressions from Nickhy and different lighting options.
Choosing the final image was not easy, as they were all good with their own nuances. Our initial idea was to have a frontal shot, but when looking at the options we realised that those were focusing more on the face of the model, while the profile ones highlighted the shape of the helmet and that cycling visual cue that we needed.
Art Direction: Enric Adell @enric_adell
Photography: Antim Wijnaendts @antimphotography
MUAH: Rosa Kimm @muah_rosakimm Model:
Nickhy de Graaff @nickhyjane / Editorial Model Management
Helmet courtesy of MET @met_helmets