Any magazine that begins with a lengthy quote from Kurt Vonnegut has already got our attention here at magCulture. And this is how Krass Journal begins, a new art magazine from Australia that has quotes from the likes of Oscar Wilde, John Cage and Angela Carter at the start of articles instead of conventional, informative intros.
One of the toughest conundrums for the editorial designer is dealing with multiple languages in the same publication. Mainstream titles avoid this problem as they tend to be focussed on a single country; and while indies are more likely to be international in reach, they increasingly default to English as a get around. But most designers have at some point faced the bilingual challenge – how to present the same text twice on a page, when no two languages use the same number of words to tell identical stories. Swiss magazine zweikommasieben has the best answer I’ve seen for some time: let the difference in length between two languages (in this case English and German) become a design feature.
Conveyor has been around for a few years, a magazine produced by print studio Conveyor Arts, whose aim is to re-imagine the possibilities of contemporary photography publications. As a press that makes zines and beautiful books, the magazine team naturally have a fine eye for print and the materiality of an object, and Conveyor is crafted by hand. For this issue – the Alchemy issue – art directors Elana Schlenker (the mind behind Gratuitous Type) and Christina Labey decided to print, bind, foil-stamp and smyth-sew the publication themselves, and when you hold the magazine, you can tell it’s something special.
Design magazines tend to be designed in one of two ways, following either the minimalist’s golden rule of ‘less is more’ or ruling by the eye-grabbing dictum of ‘less is bore’. Brussel-based Kwintessens has published quarterly since 1992 by Flemish design promoters Design Flanders, and it emphatically falls into the latter category, opting for an aesthetic of mix-match typographic collages and bold Bauhaus colours.
We love these covers for travel magazine 38Hours, which follow a simple but effective template. Each of the A5 issues focuses on a different European city, and the editors work closely with local bloggers and journalists to ensure a personal and knowledgeable perspective. The front covers similarly convey a sense of insider-knowledge and capture the cities very accurately through typography and colour alone.
In 17th Century London, pamphleteering was rife, a way for Londoners to circulate subversive ideas through cheap printing technology. Pamphleteering took place on the street, it was radical and politically charged, a reaction to the aggressive Elizabethan exploitation of new media. Four centuries later, Urban Pamphleteer magazine is doing just the same, working in this tradition to confront contemporary urban debates and politics. Although it takes heed from a traditional format, there is nothing out-dated about the publication’s content or aesthetic.
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.
When so many words about current and crucial topics are constantly being delivered to our screens every second of the day, it can be hard to sift through the glut in order find good, intelligent and genuinely provocative journalism. That’s why what Matter does is so important – the editors choose a different region for each issue and commission intelligent writing on the subject so that a collection of perspectives exists all in one place – and for this issue they’ve picked the delicate and knotty matter of the Middle East.
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.
Every year The New Yorker marks its anniversary with a cover featuring its mascot Eustace Tilley, the monocled dandy who appeared on the very first cover back in 1925 and remains a central part of the magazine’s identity. For their 90th anniversary this week they’ve gone a step further, commissioning a set of nine covers, one for each decade to date, from regular contributors.
Artists: Christoph Niemann, Peter Mendelsund, Lorenzo Mattotti, Anita Kunz, Barry Blitt, Istvan Banyai, Roz Chast, Kadir Nelson and Carter Goodrich
Read an appreciation of the letter ‘R’ in the New Yorker logo.