If you listened to last week’s edition of The Stack on Monocle24 you’ll have heard me mention two very different football magazines: the big, glossy Howler from the US and the smaller newsprint Field Matchday from the UK. Same basic subject, two very different approaches.
One of the things I enjoy about listening to The Stack is hearing guests describe and discuss magazines without the distraction of seeing the actual thing, but when it comes down to it you need to see them, so here they are. The following images alternate between the two magazines; it should be obvious which is which!
Both titles have been mentioned on this site before (read Andrew’s review of Howler here) but in case you missed the posts, both are independently published with different ambitions. Howler combines art director Robert Priest’s British roots with his US editorial design aesthetic. He’s been in the States for some time now, art directing major titles in New York. His magazine is a technically brilliant, multi-faceted book-like mix of photography, typography, illustration and infographics that acts as a calling card for his design studio Priest + Grace.
Field Matchday, on the other hand, sits somewhere between the club-sponsored football programme and the amateur fanzine. It’s the same small format as these publications but has a clean, modern design approach that positions it far apart from these tradtional football publications, as well as from Howler. It is being handed out free at all Premier League matches, a direction being tested as this season ends with a view to a bolder launch next season. It’s a brave move, but with a little advertising support and some sharp editorial development could find a niche.
The underlying point is that magazines can take two extremely different approaches (editorially, creatively and business-wise) to the same subject. And each quite different from the many more mainstream football magazines out there.