Few magazines have enjoyed the kind of phenomenal, cult-ish success Cereal has achieved in six short volumes. Starting out as a food and lifestyle tome, it has evolved along the way, swapping the food for travel, and adding a host of spinoffs in the process; including Guided by Cereal, a collection of bespoke, online travel guides.
The crazy part about all this is that it remains largely a two-person show over at Team Cereal, consisting of editor, Rosa Park, and creative director, Rich Stapleton. And, while they are swamped 95% of the time; travelling around the world on shoots both for Cereal and Guided by Cereal, speaking at magazine forums, shooting and designing the ads that appear within the magazine so they gel with the rest of the contents, and negotiating distribution and PO deals, the pair still take the time out to reply every email with humour and grace, squeezed some time before and after a shoot in London to meet Team Magpie while we were in the UK, and even hosted Magpie’s first-ever Instagram Takeover, putting up outtakes of their shoot in Singapore, which is featured in Volume 6.
The final proof of their devotion to their magazine? Even while in the depths of Morocco, working on volume 7, Rosa graciously replied my last-minute question about Singapore, and Rich sent over not 1 image to be used alongside the interview, but 4 for us to choose from. And this, ladies and gents, is why Cereal is set for far bigger, better and greater things.
What are some of the magazines you personally love that inspired you to launch Cereal?
I love magazines and voraciously read a wide variety of them! National Geographic was a huge inspiration for us when we started Cereal, as were newer titles like Smith Journal and The Gentlewoman. I love the iconic design of National Geographic as well as its in-depth, scientific analysis of places and natural wonders. Smith Journal is the only magazine that I read cover to cover, their features are incredibly interesting reads. And I love the art direction of The Gentlewoman, it’s genius.
What do you hope Cereal adds to the newsstand?
A fresh take on travel. For some reason, there doesn’t seem to be nearly as many travel magazines as there are for topics such as food, interiors, fashion and lifestyle. We want to bring diversity to the travel publications on offer!
What were some other working titles before you decided on Cereal?
We went through so many names, it’s hard to recall all of them! Off the top of my head, Grey was one of them, as well as Atlas and Grain.
You guys have achieved incredible success in the span of 6 issues. What have been some of the highlights of the journey so far?
I love working with our contributors. They are incredible and their work inspires me every day.
What made you decide to include Singapore in your lineup for volume 6?
Singapore has always been a point of interest for me on a personal level. My best friend lives there and my parents list it as one of their favourite destinations – they always talk about the kindness of the people, the amazing food, as well as the admirable order and cleanliness of the city. I have been drawn to Singapore more and more in recent years by the creative spirit and industry. There is an impressive variety of bookshops, boutiques, galleries and museums that you don’t necessarily expect from the city, but it’s there in abundance, and it’s fantastic! We also think that Singapore is one of the greatest supporters of Cereal, which is always lovely.