Must-listen: Mavericks podcast episode 14, Paul McNameee, editor of The Big Issue.

Big mags using the language of indies: US Harper’s Bazaar’s new design aims ‘to more closely resemble that of an actual coffee table book.

America is a new French magazine seeking to explain the new US to its readers. Can we have an English language edition please?

The first Guardian Live event will take place in London, 2 December.

sindroms #1, Red

A journal of monochrome states of mind, sindroms considers the role that different colours play across culture, immersing readers in the feelings and moods evoked by a specific colour. Published biannually from Copenhagen, its first issue boldly centres itself around the colour red. The cover signals this strongly with a blind embossed logo across a vivid field of warm red.

The magazine looks at the duplicity of the colour; its connotations of both passion and danger, and symbolically of cupid and the devil. In a series of photographs, Aursa Babiedaite personifies several of these moods, along with some information about each of them. This ranges from looking at inherited or learnt violence, to the link between fury and jealousy, and the burred lines between risk-taking and extreme pleasure.

Elsewhere, the magazine looks at notable red artworks and their impact – one such work is Chiharu Shiota’s Uncertain Journey, which uses an endlessly complex labyrinth of red thread to capture the viewer in an inescapable net of mixed emotions. Meatier pieces include an interview with Jesse Somfay, a musician who has synaesthesia. He speaks of the feeling of an aura or ‘essence’ when he meets new people, instead of getting a sense of their personality, which comes from having his senses so entwined.

With a particular focus on art, fashion, and photography, sindroms is a visual feast that imaginatively considers its theme colour in the realms of these visual art forms. The finished product is a crisp magazine that leaves you thinking about the colour red and all its evocations. I wonder whether other colours will prove as rich a subject as red?

Creative Director: Miruna Sorescu
Editor-in-chief: Monique Schröder
Art director: Aušra Babiedaitė


Pli #3

There’s a long tradition of magazines and zines about contemporary architecture, but bilingual journal Pli goes a step further by focussing on the intersection between architecture and publishing. Our latest page 23 comes form this new, third issue of the book-ish annual magazine.

Published from Paris by a group of print-loving architects, Pli is a beautifully conceived, book-ish publication that takes a theme (and a single colour) each issue – this one looks at potential conflict between its two disciplines. It is not a hopeless list of complaint, however; the editors promise, ‘To give an account of the positive aspects of conflict (that) allows for the resolution of problems.’

The natural connections between architecture and editorial design are many and the design of page 23 is typical of the magazine and the way it expresses this similarity. The opening page of an essay, the design uses the grid structure, titling hierarchy and page furniture used throughout the issue. All content is tightly reined in by this underlying structure in a manner that echoes the control architects apply to grand projects. If this means the introduction text suffers some awkward linebreaks, so be it. There’s a system at stake!

Seriously, though, I enjoy this kind of typographic structure. I like the way the system is slightly quirky yet resolutely consistent.

Design: Countach Studio.


What Monster #1

When Steven Gregor stopped publishing Gym Class Magazine (the magazine about magazines) last year, he hinted at a new project to come. That new magazine is still in the works, but to keep his hand in he’s just launched What Monster, a zine devoted to horror films. Each issue will be dedicated to a single movie, and the first one devotes itself to 1980 cult classic Friday the 13th, released just in time for today, Friday 13 October.

What Monster is printed in black-and-white, arriving at A5 pamphlet size an opening out to an A2 double-sided format that mimics the size of a movie poster. Every inch of space is filled with information about Friday the 13th, and there are 100 facts, rumours, and fan theories running across both sides in crisp Neue Haas Grotesk.

One example of the obsessive gems included is; ‘Musician Lou Reed owned a property near Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, where Friday the 13th was filmed. He stopped by between scenes one time and performed for the cast and crew. According to sound mixer Richard Murphy, Reed was “a great guy”’.

The magazine will be published four times a year, a self-described ‘almanac for the horror movie anorak’. Like Gym Class Magazine, Steven’s passion for the subject shines through. It’s a lovely format that delivers more than this description hints at – you need it in your hands. We look forward to seeing what horror film they pull apart next.

Lydia Garnett, Accent

With three weeks until ModMag17 we continue our countdown with Lydia Garnett from Accent. Lydia, a photographer, makes the magazine with journalist Lucy Nurnberg and designer Luke Tudor Griffiths, and their recent third print edition (it started as online-only) saw the title mature into a key example of the new magazines reflecting life outside the ordinary.

What’s your favourite cover of your magazine?
The Accent cover is a chance for us to celebrate the extraordinary, inspirational heroes of the world. We feature people from all walks of life with an incredible story to share.

The cover of issue one featured Kia Labejia, a young New York Vogue ballroom dancer and HIV activist. On the cover of  issue two we published a topless image of Lucia Lucas, a fabulous trans opera singer. On the cover of number three we profiled Kodo, a genderfluid Japanese Buddhist monk and make-up artist, who cites RuPaul as a major inspiration.

The latest issue of Accent (above) represents how far we’ve come. Our art director and designer Luke went into this issue with confidence and took the magazine to new levels in terms of the design. Now we have three issues, it’s nice to look back at the collection and see things becoming distinctly Accent; cover stars serving serious eye contact, strong photographic elements in the design and an 80s boldness.

What has been your magazine highlight of 2017?
My 2017 mag highlights have been the night of feminist performance art and readings at the first Accent supper club, hosting a punk gig with FARAI at the Fred Perry store in a makeshift Accent Live! dive bar and launching the strongest issue of Accent yet. Last month Lucy and I took a trip the West Coast was pretty epic and I’ve just started teaching at LCC on the Magazine, Publishing and Journalism BA which is a constant source of inspiration.

What was the one mistake that taught you the most about making magazines?
For one reason or another, I’ve learnt that you can never ask enough questions or see enough proofs! It’s essential to stick to your gut, have great people around you and to make confident decisions.

Which other speaker are you most looking forward to hearing at ModMag?
Mushpit, Takahiro Kinoshita of Popeye and the host with the most Liv Siddall.

What will you be talking about at ModMag?
I’ll be chatting about our experience of making Accent so far, from the years spent making an online zine to some very intense (but also hilarity-filled) production weeks, our approach to distribution including the occasional nightmare stockist and lots of low-budget but high fun-level parties.


The Modern Magazine 2017
Thursday 2 November (9am to 5.30pm)
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL (map)

Book your ticket now

Final details and line up will be confirmed over the next weeks, check here for latest news.

Group discounts are available. Please email stephanie@magculture.com for further information.


Turin, 15 October: Jeremy Leslie will be discussing magazines with Francesco Franchi, Ben Freeman and Massimo Pitis as part of the Torino Graphic Days festival.

Robert Newman looks back on his time at The Village Voice, as does the ‘last print check guy.’

If you enjoy The Sunday Times Magazine, you’ll like their new podcast.

Kickstarter update: Anxy is crowdfunding issue two; new mag Autodidact promises personal stories