At work with: Michael Renaud, Pitchfork

An intriguing recent publishing trend has been the number of print magazines being launched by digital companies. One of the best is The Pitchfork Review, published quarterly by the Chicago-based music website We start this week in the company of the man responsible for the look of both print and digital sides of the business, creative director Michael Renaud. As well as his role at Pitchfork, Michael is known for ‘The Show n Tell Show,’ his online interviews with designers.

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March 20, 2015

Front covers

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Dummy vs Der Speigel

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This cover for Germany’s Dummy magazine is pretty forceful: the theme for the issue is ‘Help’ and on the front cover an ousted editor of Der Spiegel offers help to his old mag, ‘Buy Der Spiegel, they need it more’ (thanks Mike).

Out now: Accent #8

is the 21st Century equivalent of seventies cult zines, an online magazine showcasing extraordinary lives and obscure, lively subcultures from around the world. It’s a publication that has a particularly strong eye for iconic images, so that it’s become one of the leading sources for underground documentary photography. We love Accent because it’s one of the few online spaces that completely succeeds in drawing you into each digital issue: it’s easy to read all of the long-form stories in one go, something that’s rare even in the best printed publications. Issue eight was released this week, marking it the second year that the quarterly magazine has appeared. We spoke to editors Lucy Nurnberg and Lydia Garnett, curious about the process of putting together an online magazine that’s actually achieved the kind of status usually associated with print.

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Magazine of the week: Urban Pamphleteer

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.

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Overmatter: 18.03.15

Hear Gail Bichler, design director of NYTimes Magazine, discuss the recent redesign in the latest MagHeroes podcast from Magpile…

…while NYTimes graphics editor Jennifer Daniel reveals she’d like to redesign Buzzfeed.

Kai Brach of Offscreen’s latest insight into making his mag is an overview of flatplanning: ‘Seeing all the spreads next to each other enables editors to identify where… stories or visuals are colliding.

More audio: hear PPA chief exec, and all-round editorial guru, Barry McIlheney discuss his career including his time on Smash Hits and FHM.

If you’re in NY on 6 April, you can’t afford to miss the entire set of New York magazine design directors discussing the magazine; that’s everyone from Milton Glaser, via Walter Bernard and Bob Newman through to Luke Hayman and Chris Dixon.

A certain kind of print is dead, or dying, but who cares?’ Delayed Gratification have a nice interview with Ruth Jamieson, author of ‘Print is Dead. Long Live Print.’


Port goes biannual

The new issue of men’s independent Port lands next week, with a new format and redesign based around their move from quarterly to biannual. ‘Whilst we have loved creating and sharing the 15 quarterly issues over the years,’ explains founder/editor-in-chief Dan Crowe, ‘we’re looking forward to making something more refined, satisfying, reflective – more, perhaps, like a vintage glass of port.’

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Out now: Mood #7

I’ve always been a fan of the Mood logo. The mash of the words ‘food’ and ‘music’ that is visually represented by the two O’s, the first being a record and the other a burger, is a perfect representation of the publication’s content. And their covers are also always so striking, especially when placed on a shelf surrounded by other independent magazines. Issue seven has a cover as eye-catchingly colourful as ever, and it’s themed ‘World Music’, a term Editors Emma Hovel and Mario Villar Sangurjo rightly questions in their letter, as it’s a genre that music aside from conventional Anglo rock/pop is often unfairly categorised into.

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At work with: Walter Green, Lucky Peach

I’ve recently had the chance to spend time with two of the principals of Lucky Peach – editor Chris Ying (at U Symposium) and art director Walter Green (at QVED) – and can confirm they live their magazine. These guys are committed to food of every type! We start the new week with Walter, now back at work in San Francisco. Before Lucky Peach he worked at McSweeney’s and The New York Times Magazine, as well as contributing illustrations to New York, Bloomberg Businessweek The Atlantic. He was recently named one of Print magazine’s New Visual Artists, and one of The L Magazine’s 30 Under 30; if that’s not remarkable enough, he’s not even pushing 30, turning 25 this week.

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March 13, 2015


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Indie mags on Artsnight, BBC2 tonight

Journalist/super-interviewer Lynne Barber is guest editor of tonight’s Artsnight show, and for one segment she reports on the UK’s indie magazine scene. She meets Steve Watson, interviews The Gentlewoman’s Penny Martin and Delayed Gratification’s Rob Orchard, and looks at the success of Cereal. Will be interesting to hear what she concludes (no images available ahead of broadcast).


Behind the front cover, Gym Class #12

We’ve been fans of Steven Gregor’s new Gym Class cover since he revealed it at last month’s Printout. The bold and satirical statement is definitely on point, and it taps into something that we’ve been feeling for quite a while here at magCulture: namely our concern about the more derivative designs of many contemporary publications. We got in touch with the Gym Class creator to find out more, intrigued about whether the characteristically playful Steven is using the statement as a light-hearted provocation, or whether he is articulating a deeper concern about magazine making today.

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