Sometimes everything gets a little sensible in magazine-land. Familiar typefaces and layouts present well-considered editorial concepts; advice is listened to, an audience envisaged. All of which is fine, and as I said, sensible, but… what about that basic urge to MAKE?
Our latest Magazine of the Week is Good Trouble reminds us of that urge. Created by Rod Stanley (ex-Dazed) and Richard Turley (ex-Bloomberg Businessweek) it is a satisfyingly daft project.
Printed on clean white newsprint, its A2 pages seem vast against the ever-smaller indies we’re used to seeing. It is almost broadsheet – an ageing format no longer trusted in the UK by anyone except the fusty old Daily Telegraph. ‘Everything’s designed for your screen today,’ notes Turley, ‘so there’s no scale, designers don’t get to play with size any more. I really wanted to work with the large newspaper format’
Stanley and Turley had talked over beers about collaborating for some time, and this is the first result, produced in the evenings as a side project to their current roles as a fashion brand consultant and creative director at Weiden + Kennedy respectively.
I noted earlier this year that I thought there would be a more political edge to indie publishing this year but have been largely disappointed. Good Trouble puts this right in an exciting manner, typographically manic as you would expect from Turley, with a political sense that ranges from an extended interview with ‘the greatest political artist of his generation’ Peter Kennard to a quick list of the people Louise Mensch has accused of being Russian agents.
Along the way we meet the KLF’s Jimmy Cauty, get an overview of political art at The Armory, and hear of multiple projects of resistance. The code for the malware that was used to hack the Democrat National Committee last eyar is reproduced in 7pt across an entire page (above). As the introduction makes clear, the newspaper is a celebration of such resistance, supporting social change with all its contradictions, reminding us ‘…serious business can be fun.’
‘I’ve missed magazines and haven’t stopped buying them,’ says Turley, ‘I did a feature project about our times for 032c earlier this year and loved doing that, and Good Trouble grew out of that.’ He designed the pages without using a grid, ‘designing a newspaper from memory,’ as he puts it, referring to his time at The Guardian, ’Mark Porter never leaves you.’
The result leaves me wishing Turley was still making magazines regularly. Good Trouble is intelligently designed, a functioning newspaper that has slipped off the tracks and headed off in a slightly warped direction. Best of all, there’s good reading and a positive message.
And don’t be confused by it being labelled issue 23. This is the debut issue, but Stanley subscribes to the magic qualities of the number 23. It remains to be seen whether there’ll be a second edition, or what number it will bear.
We hope to have copies of Good trouble at the magCulture Shop soon. All profits go to Warchild.