Publisher Gives Students Tips On Finding Creative Freedom In The Magazine Industry

A publisher who creates a celebrated design, photography and culture magazine has spoken to students at the Regent Street campus about his work.

Les Jones, the creator of Elsie magazine, delivered a two-hour lecture in the morning and then facilitated an afternoon workshop with the students at the university’s Regent Street campus.

The vision behind Les’  individual magazine is ‘creative freedom’ – the ability to explore creative themes without any outside influence or interference. This approach, which takes in design, photography, illustration and typography gives the magazine its unique, eclectic feel.

Elsie has been praised by actor Tom Hanks who wrote a letter about the magazine after a friend of Les’ sent him a copy which name-checked him.

Mr Hanks subscribed and said: “Elsie is a gorgeous magazine. I am now all in favour of one-man (or one-woman) magazines, as they will make the world a little more lovely of a place.”

In his lecture, Les explained how, while traditional magazine publishing may seem stuck in a series of conventions, the world of niche magazine publishing can open up all kinds of possibilities – and that having a ‘big idea’ which inspires them and fires their creativity was key to developing students’ work if they wanted to publish their own magazines.

Speaking afterwards, he added: “It was a pleasure to talk to and work with the students at Wrexham Glyndwr University – hopefully they took away some ideas and inspiration from the day. I wish them all the best as they come to the end of their final year.”

His visit followed an invite to the university by lecturer Lisa Evans, who said: “I’m delighted Les was able to come along to inspire our students, particularly as we were only one of five UK universities he has chosen to visit.

“The independent magazine sector is growing year on year, with dedicated shops beginning to pop up to cater for the growing appetite for these publications.

“Independent publishing is a great way for our students to apply and develop their creativity and I’d like to thank Les for his time, his inspiration – and his visit.”

You can find out more about Elsie magazine here: and Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology here:


Founded in 2008, Wrexham Glyndwr University is a young, bold and vibrant university based in north-east Wales. The university has two campuses in Wrexham, Plas Coch and Regent Street plus campuses in Northop and St Asaph. In 2017 the university was awarded the silver award in the Teaching Excellence Framework for the quality of teaching.

The university is driving academic excellence through a wide range of innovative and industry-relevant courses, such as Applied Science, Computing, Engineering, Creative Arts, Criminology and Psychology. Wrexham Glyndwr is now a Top 100 University, rising 24 places in the Guardian league tables – one of the top 10 risers in the UK.  The Campus 2025 strategy encompasses plans for new student accommodation, car parking and upgraded facilities in the next eight years.