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Our latest edition of APEX Experience magazine, The Design Issue, not only covers the theme of design within the aerospace industry, but is also timed to coincide with the upcoming APEX EXPO in Portland, Oregon from September 28–October 1. Before the magazine hits the stands and inboxes of APEX members and readers, we go behind-the-scenes to share the story behind the cover and provide a sneak peek of what you’ll find in the upcoming issue.

“Our main inspiration for the cover was retro airline posters,” explains Nicolas Venturelli, APEX art director. “We wanted to make a contemporary version of those colorful geometric and expressive images that continue to amaze us now.” Elements of the cover tie into the geometric pattern that opens the issue’s first feature, “The Art of Flight,” which chronicles retro airline poster design through an in-depth interview with Matthias C. Hühne, author and curator of Airline Visual Identity 1945–1975.

The strong colors, lines and shapes of retro airline posters inspired APEX's art team.

The strong colors, lines and shapes of retro airline posters inspired APEX’s art team.

Within the abstract design concept and retro inspiration, the cover features landmarks of Portland, Oregon and the icons of the airline passenger experience. “We thought of the APEX EXPO as a destination,” says Venturelli. “The illustrator, Manuel Córdova, built a grid around Mt. Hood. It’s diagonal lines helped to place all the elements on the cover, including the Oregon Convention Center towers beside it.” The minimal approach anticipates the feature “Terminal Minimalism,” a story about the low-cost design concept behind Terminal 3 at Narita International Airport.

Look closely at the geometric shapes, which evoke livery design and highlight the airplane shape and tailfins toward the bottom. The shapes also reference the highly sought after runway art by Mike Bain, which is explored in the issue’s story, “Project Runway.” Layered rectangular shapes evoke graphic user interface systems behind embedded seatback screen – a topic that’s covered our feature story, “Transparent Interfaces.”

And, if you look very closely at the upper left corner, a subtle three-diamond pattern quietly evokes our beloved PDX airport carpet pattern. Keep Portland weird, right?

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The story behind the cover design of our latest issue is gratefully sponsored by DMD and Digiredoo. Spreading the word, around the world – DMD is the only global provider of newspapers, magazines and digital publications to airlines, airports and international travel operators. DMD delivers one seamless print-and-digital press fulfilment service across the globe, working with more than 120 airlines and each year delivering over 130 million daily papers and magazines worldwide. DMD’s market-leading digital press service, Digiredoo, provides premium content online to passenger devices in premium lounges or at home on the day of travel, also for seatback screens or direct to devices via onboard Wi-Fi. Digiredoo leverages the company’s longstanding relationships with newsstand media owners to deliver significant publisher-generated revenue potential. To find out more, contact their global team at dawsonmd.com/global or e-mail global@dawsonmd.com.