Quarterly illustration magazine Mincho hails from Madrid, and its English-language content is any illustration lover’s dream. The publication is divided into six distinct sections – Illustration, In Motion (animation), Comic, Art + Design, The New Contemporary (graphic arts) and Have a Nice Book (book suggestions). Included in the contents is a piece on Chris Ware’s early work, an interview with lo-fi zine makers Los Bravu, and reviews of comics that graphic novel readers will soon find themselves pining for.
With illustration magazines, it’s always a challenge getting the balance between design and the accompanying pictures right, as too much design can detract from the images. Mincho use a simple three-column template in order to showcase illustration to its full effect – with plenty of white space to create distance between text and image. This allows readers to dwell on the images singularly and without distraction. Page numbers and section headings are printed sideways along the left of each page (above), similarly creating a separation between information and image.
When there are changes in the design of the page, it’s usually colour orientated, and always used to complement and emphasise the illustration. For an interview with Martin Nicolausson (above), an inverse background of black makes his abstract images vibrantly stand out all the more.
Large numbers signal each of the sections, like emphatic chapter headings (above). The whole magazine has a field-guide aesthetic that suits the content; it allows the images to do a lot of the talking; other stories include a look at the influence of the Memphis group and an overview of ‘the new ugly’ (below). Mincho definitely have their fingers on the pulse in terms of the images they showcase and the content they curate, proving that they’re a printed illustration magazine in the same league of Varoom! or Off Life.
Art direction: Cristina Vila Nadal
Review by Madeleine Morley