First things first: yes, this is not a magazine. But anyone who loved Butt magazine will want to hear about their 2014 calendar, featuring a different image for every day, now that the mag is no more. Wednesday 1 January opens with ‘gay geek Rob’, who unlike most of the models is fully clothed. My birthday features a couple coupling, while other days star bananas, cucumbers and other subtle symbols. Other days feature interviews or ‘Homonumerology’ factoids to do with the date. And it’s all printed on the familiar Butt pink paper. May 19 stars homosexual cat Tymon (below).
Another website-turned-print publication, FPZ0001 collects the first 20 contributions to the Forage Press website, which went live at the start of 2013. The site invites creative responses to music from its users, and they post the results. It’s a lovely idea, and the print edition is a great addition, collecting very different visuals in a well-designed newsprint publication. Simple but satisfying, creative sources range from Michael Jackson to Mogwai via Hort (below).
It’s hard to believe Cereal barely existed a year ago. Just four quarterly issues into its existence and Rosa and Rich’s baby has taken the indie publishing scene by storm – everywhere I go I hear the same comments about its popularity. I put this down to the idea being such a simple proposition – four chapters each issue, two on travel and two on food. It is an easily explained magazine, travel and food are both highly popular subjects that work well in print, and the art direction and design has been perfected from the first page of the launch issue. Such confidence comes from putting the hard work in first, defining your brand, your audience and your aims.
Anyhow, issue four has been out a few weeks and is as lush as ever – bright white matt paper, beautiful imagery and strong writing. The writing doesn’t get mentioned enough – each of the four sections has plenty of text. Alongside plenty of white space, naturally, as this spread shows.
The launch issue of Intern shouldn’t be a surprise to magCulture readers – we featured editor Alec Dudson in our At Work With feature a couple of weeks back – but we haven’t actually had a look at the mag yet. It’s a really intriguing launch, as it covers the creative industries from such a different angle – balancing advice and support for young people seeking internships with interviews with the the up-and-coming rather than the already successful. It packs a punch – 146 pages of mixed paper stocks and a foil block logo – and promises much. It feels to me like one a magazine that’s really going to develop into something really special over the next few issues. Alec is a hugely driven person with big ideas, so pick up this first edition and be a part from the beginning.
I assumed Modern Farmer was a joke when I first heard about it, but on seeing a copy it was clear it was anything but. As farmer’s markets, garden nurseries with attached restaurants and magazines like The Plant and Wilder show, our connection with growing food is developing. So why not a stylish magazine for farmers instead of the more traditional trade press? This US magazine rises to the challenge and delivers a publication full of information and interviews that is inspirational to anyone thinking of starting a smallholding, while also giving enough basic advice for city dwellers to relate better to food production. It looks great too – a smart design and some lovely illustration – though the goat with the headline ‘Feast!’ on the cover still makes me giggle.
Australia’s Process Journal has benefitted from a rethink, with a calmer more journal-y look than the previous eight magazines. There’s less in it – not always something to boast about but in this case definitely an improvement, with more space for each feature giving better coverage of the featured design studios. The theme this time – Less is More – highlights the new approach, but essentially it’s the same magazine,with the same high production values and interest in modernist studios from around the world, such as Spin, Build and Manual. Of particular editorial interest in the issue is this interview with Tom Crabtree, the man behind the large-format Loose Leaf magazine.
This is the 24th edition of London street art mag VNA, but as far as I recall its the first mention here on the blog. Shame! A pocket-sized collection of found work and interviews with artists, what it lacks in design structure is more than compensated for by the imagery (design-wise it really needs a clean, simple approach to let the art be king). Nevermind, this front cover is a really strong image, a favourite of recent times. and as a collector of road sign images the defaced signs (below) were a natural pick.
There seem to be countless portfolio magazines out there, beautifully printed collections of photography with little curatorial sense to their existence. British magazine So It Goes might easily be mistaken for yet another one, except that as well as fine production values it does have the editorial bangs to pull together some great stories from different areas of photography.
This is the team’s second issue, and again divides into different creative specialities (The Actors, The Directors, The Places…), each opening with a reproduction end-paper (below). A highlight for me was Richard Mosse’s extraordinary infra-red shots from the Congo. One other thought… is the name taken from Slaughterhouse Five?
Some Magazine takes a broad theme each issue and uses it to examine design and creativity. Thus it avoids the normal design press focus on latest projects and studio profiles and presents a more open discussion of subjects. This issue, Identity, has content in German and English and as well as a beautifully crafted set of fake packaging designs for obscure products and a questionnaire with Rob Lowe aka Supermundane (he did the cover design) uses a series of archived teenage diaries to present a pre-social network version of young identity.
Magazine publishing has been as driven by the sex industry as much as any medium – the magazine kiosks of New York are disappearing because the porn industry has migrated online (and where would the web be without the sex industry?) But magazines like Baron are reclaiming printed erotica, and after their miniature first issue this latest one is brash and bold. Bound in shiny pink fabric, the hardback volume, photographed by Tyrone Lebon and guest edited by Max Pearmain, looks at how voyeurism has adapted to today’s image-sharing world. Plenty of NSFW imagery, of which this is one of the tamer examples.