Art directed by Neville Brody and edited by Kez Glozier – a former illustrator and current filmmaker – there was much to be excited about, with contributors including Nick Knight, Anton Corbijn, Kevin Cummins, Ben Marshall, Dean Chalkley and Jocelyn Bain Hogg.
But when the magazine launched, so few copies were printed that barely anyone got to actually see it. A site was live, but for the majority of us, The New British remained an elusive concept.
That’s why, two years on, the team decided that it would open up this little club to everyone, working with developers from Wired magazine to create an all-singing-all-dancing app version of 2012’s Issue 0.
The same design team is still on board, creating an app with a direct, bold yet simple aesthetic that aims to wear Britishness as a badge of forthrightness and creativity.
We spoke to Glozier about the magazine’s inception, working with Brody and The New British’s new digital future.
Design Week: Why has the app launched now, two years after the first issue was printed?
Kez Glozier: We wanted to make the transition to digital – print is dead. Some publishers still do it as it’s a tradition, and there are some great small independent titles, but there’s no happy medium. The independent ones work because they only print maybe 100 issues, or just print them when you want them. We made the first issue print in as a marketing tool and to put our stamp on it. It’s taken a lot of time [between the first one and this one] because it’s just been me, and we’re totally independent, so there’s been no means to print it.
DW: How did the collaboration with Neville Brody come about?
KG: I just met him – I showed him the dummy magazines which I’d designed myself, but I didn’t know how to put a magazine together. I wanted to have someone that would build it. We just got on really well, we were chatting away like two little boys. We share the same tastes and vision.
DW: How would you describe the aesthetic?
KG: You just have to see it. I guess ”documentary”… I wanted to keep it understated. It doesn’t need to shout, the content and the stories carry it. With the original one I’d looked at magazines like Life and Nova.
DW: Why is it called The New British?
KG: Because it’s new and its British
DW: A piece on Grafik spoke about the idea of the magazine emerging in a time  where Britishness was quite an uneasy concept with issues of austerity and unrest. Was that idea of questioning Britishness and what it means today a factor in the name and the direction?
KG: I guess that comes into it through the stories. It was started in a recession, so whether its film or fashion [content] it follows that time. We have an important role in showing what it’s really like.
DW: So will all the contributors to the magazine have to be British?
KG: They don’t have to be British born – it’s not about nationality, but it’s about what people see and hear.
DW: How will it be published going forward?
KG: The app will be quarterly and then at the end of the year there’s potentially going to be a “best of” book. The Next issue is called “Legacy”.
DW: So will the design follow quite strict templates for each one?
KG: We’ve followed the design language from the print magazine to the app but we’re pushing it out a little bit. The app is a very tactile experience – you can pull it apart and move things around. It’ll follow similar designs [in subsequent issues] but it might break the rules.
DW: So I suppose with the content you want to show, which is quite film-heavy, you need something more interactive that allows people to see the work…
KG: There are 20 films in the next issue! Also economy-wise, printing is very expensive. This is a far more direct way of getting to a worldwide audience.
Find out more about The New British and download the app at thenewbritish.com.