Profile: Hazel Phillips, editor, Idealog

Profile: Hazel Phillips, editor, Idealog
Hazel Phillips
"I'm on a personal mission to save both the subjunctive and the adverb from a grisly death," says Hazel Phillips, editor of Idealog magazine and subbing sleuth. "The Oxford comma also needs a bit more love these days."

With a BA(Hons) in foreign languages, a post-graduate diploma in teaching and a PGDipArts in media studies in progress, New Zealand born Phillips' diverse career has included working in newspapers (Fairfax), New Idea NZ as associate editor, subbing on Australian titles NW and CLEO and freelancing for titles including Lucky Break, New Zealand's answer to Take 5.

"One of my favourite places to freelance was Lucky Break, not only because the people who work on it are awesome but also because the reader feedback is screamingly fantastic," she says.

Phillips' real career coup came when she returned to New Zealand after a stint working in Australia and took over writing a long-standing column called 'Ad Hoc' for the National Business Review covering the advertising and media industry winding up in June.

"The big issues were digitalisation of media, the advent of social media, and then other things specific to NZ, such as when TVNZ (our big broadcaster) decided to cut ad agency commission, which the industry didn't take kindly to," she says. "The oddest thing was the number of PR people who would pitch "print is dead" stories to me when obviously I worked on a print publication!" 

'Ad Hoc' led to a presenting gig on the digital-only TV program The Ad Show, which ran for 20 episodes, but her heart lies with print. 

"I love the design process, and having a magazine hot off the press in my hands after months of work is pretty choice too," she says. "Idealog's parent company Tangible Media is a bit different in that we actually print on site (the press is downstairs), which I find a bit exciting! It has to go off-site to be bound, but still... looking down on the printing floor makes you feel very Citizen Kane."

Idealog is a bi-monthly magazine that covers business, innovation, creativity in design with, says Phillips, "a dash of sustainability, tech and marketing news thrown in for good measure". The latest issue takes design as its theme with a cover story on Avanti, and their quest to take a Kiwi team (with fancy new Evo II bikes) to the Tour de France. There's also a feature story on design-led food and beverage (cover line: "Yeah you look good, now what?") and their potential for offshore markets, and designer QR codes by an NZ company based in Japan.

"Right now we're a sponsor of the Bayer Innovators Awards, which are happening in October, and will profile a number of New Zealand innovations and innovators who are doing it differently," she says.

Girl With a Satchel