There are a lot of magazines at the moment that centre on cities, and it’s becoming difficult for publications of this genre to stand out and do something distinct. But pocket-sized Double Dot manages a fresh approach to the topic. For each issue, the Toronto-based magazine selects sister cities like Los Angeles and Vancouver, or Amsterdam and Montreal, and collates content that invites us to connect the dots and consider what makes up the special relationship between the two geographical points.
One of the luxuries of publishing in the independent sphere is the time to make your magazine. While the mainstream business, by necessity, relies on structure and process – hitting a weekly or monthly deadline demands this in terms of both editorial workflow and page planning – the smaller and more agile independent publisher can adapt issue by issue. My favourite indies take advantage of this, and our latest Magazine of the Week is a great example of a magazine doing just that.
The annual magazine produced by students and academics from the design department of the Icelandic Academy of the Arts suggests that Iceland has a very promising graphic design future ahead of them. This year’s theme is technology – an exploration of design’s dependence on new tools and technological advancements. As an experiment, the team removed glue and traditional binding techniques from the magazine making mix, relying on methods like lazer cutting and hand-folding instead. The product is a strange and delightful mixture of the hand-made and the digital: it looks like what would happen if a computer could write a diary and then self-bind the pages with elasticated string.
With client magazines, the true test of their worth is in determining whether the brand’s identity has been properly extended and translated into the printed format. That’s why the latest issue of COS’s magazine gets top marks: for a brand that puts so much care into their choice of materials and which champions clean-cut design, it is appropriate that they so clearly do the same for their magazine. Produced by the publishers of Fantastic Man, the 16th issue is entitled ‘On paper’ – a theme that relishes the tactile and visual pleasure of the printed page. It’s a concept that reflects that same attentive engagement with fabric and subtlety which is the defining trait of COS’s luxe but minimalist aesthetic.
The arrival of a new mono.kultur is always a treat here at magCulture, as each issue is like a miniature art object, where content and design co-exist in perfect harmony. For issue 38, the editors of the single-focus publication have decided to centre on Gus van Sant, a filmmaker who notoriously fluctuates between art house and Hollywood. Sant confidently straddles the line between the two, and so designer Linda Riedl has opted for an imagery laden with allusions to lines, horizons and moments of transitioning. The resulting design is very easy on the eye.
We’ve covered Underscore before, but after a two-year break it’s great to see it back in print; and, coming all the way from Singapore, it satisfies a desire to see more magazines from beyond Europe/US. Following on from 2013’s ‘Flight’ issue, this time the theme is ‘Arrival’, reflecting the new beginning for the magazine.
Mould’s concept is fascinating. Instead of organising their magazine thematically, they’re planning different guest editors for each issue, a ‘curator’ who will bring their own personal outlook to the magazine and who will ‘mould’ the pages. So as the magazine grows into subsequent issues, it will morph and change its tone every time. Issue one, launched at the recent Istanbul Design Biennale, has been curated by Markus Miessen of Studio Miessen, and he’s decided to title his version of the project the ambiguous sounding ‘Cultures of Assembly’. Essentially, he seems interested in notions of ‘space’, both online space and public space, and how we experience these spaces in the modern world.
The second issue – or Element 2 as the publishers like it – of Print Isn’t Dead launched last night at the Covent Garden branch of London Graphics Centre. Published by the People of Print collective, the magazine celebrates print design and production. When you’re dealing with such subjects, your design and production has a standard to reach and the issue certainly does that.
A lonely mountain peak juts out of a snowy wilderness. The hard line of its ancient ridge provides the only point of perspective in an otherwise white plain. This view of the Kluane National Park in Yukon sits on the cover of Cereal magazine’s latest issue, and for me encapsulates the visual language and central tenets of the editorial. At a time when the field of minimal photography and design is arguably saturated, Cereal presents a unique aesthetic. Simple, understated; yet deeply engaging, a Cereal image, whether it is seen on the magazine’s staggeringly popular Instagram feed or as part of a thirty page photo essay is instantly recognisable.
Interview & photography by Robbie Lawrence, jointly published with Freunden von Freunden.
Due to Printout commitments – more of which later – I missed last night’s Chelsea-Liverpool semi-final match. But what better way to mark the win than the new edition of Victory Journal with its cover shot of a grounded Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli?