February 19, 2015
Sometimes a magazine story comes along that really engages magCulture readers, and news that the New York Times Magazine was relaunching under new editor Jake Silverstein, with Gail Bichler promoted to creative director and Matt Willey imported as art director certainly did that. An 119-year old magazine most would rate as one of world’s great examples of editorial design was investing in being better? This weekend US readers will see the first edition of the new magazine; meanwhile, here’s a preview courtesy of Bichler, who talks us through the pages.
People often say that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, a dictum that rings true when exploring the content of the ambitious first issue of Collection of Documentaries (C.O.D). Contained in the thick, glossy pages of the chunky publication are an assortment of visual essays that explore the essence of British culture in modern-day society. For a magazine that looks to document contemporary life, C.O.D has a decisive and refreshing lack of an online presence (check out their website); existing simply as a physical entity and opting out of having content trickle and fragment into cyber space. Allusions to modern life are instead conveyed in the images themselves: one series explores the multiplicity of selves that exist on online profiles; another is interspersed with hurried, opportunistic photographs taken on mobile phones.
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.
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.
Hot and Cool has been a favourite of mine for the past few years, ever since it started out as more of a zine in 2011. Since then it has developed into a perfect-bound publication, but issue eight is a return to its less chunky roots. The new edition is staple-bound and consists of three shoots, a collection of stills from a short film, a photo series, and an interview, and its concise nature is actually really wonderful as it allows you to dwell on the images and soak up the atmosphere of each spread. The simplicity of the pictures and the sparse layout of each page reflect co-editors Alice Goddard and Theo Sian’s philosophy: their interest in fashion as something that doesn’t necessarily have to be self-conscious, and their dedication to casual styling and understated humour.
Review by Madeleine Morley
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?
The new issue of Fuet boldly tackles the theme of ‘Icons’, and design team cordova-canillas have concocted an appropriately iconic cover for the Spanish food magazine’s second issue. Combining everyone’s favourite vegetable with the children’s toy that taught us it’s OK to play with our food, Mr. Aubergine Head features as Fuet’s cover star. The deep, oily purple juxtaposed with the brilliantly contrasting yellow of the background packs a powerful punch, and the confident Fuet logo is pleasingly eye-catching.
Review by Madeleine Morley
The eighth issue of Victory Journal, the large-format New York sports mag, uses footballs’ Mario Balotelli to introduce the Heroes and Villains theme. The issue also features Lance Armstrong, Derek Jeter, the late Soviet hockey coach Viktor Tikhonov, and Ann Casey (aka Panther Girl). You can read the Casey piece here.
Issue five of The Gourmand hits shops this week, coinciding with the launch of their new website. The cover is a new direction for the magazine, leaving behind the inset image on colour field and going for a full-bleed image. The picture is from a film by Lisa Rovner.
Creative director David Lane has been working with Monotype to resurrect early versions of their Monotype Grotesque typeface; you can see elements of this on the website – that ampersand in ‘On Paper & Screen’ for instance.
We’ll have copies of the new issue at our shop at this weekend’s Monocle Christmas Fayre.