If, like me, you are finding it hard to avert your eyes from anxiety-inducing live-feeds, consider the magazine as an alternative. As magazines are now primarily a form of ‘slow news’, the magCulture shop is stocked with publications printed before the coronavirus outbreak became a pandemic. It’s an obvious point, but if you’re looking for visual respite, mags contain no links, references nor updates. We are continuing to post daily reviews of the mags we love, and we hope that they can offer some distraction and inspiration in these trying times.
Last week, after noticing the monochrome covers that had been dominating our shelves since January were finally beginning to be replaced with splashes of colour, real sunshine arrived in the form of A Line Which Forms a Volume. The neon yellow journal has been compiled by this year’s cohort of students on London College of Communication’s MA Graphic Media Design course, and issue three is just as accomplished as its predecessors.
I will add that the magazine is monochrome inside, but as it’s already so externally vibrant for its size, the interior wouldn’t necessarily benefit from more colour. According to the mag’s introduction, ‘The third issue of A Line Which Forms a Volume frames the act of publishing research through the metaphor of the roundabout, itself at one time a landmark of Elephant and Castle [the site of London College of Communication].’ It was presented in parallel with a symposium , which perhaps explains why the journal is split into four ‘entries’, the table of contents printed on a thick silver sticker that’s bent around the magazine’s spine (above). The combination of the reflective sticker and the bright yellow emulates that of a road cone or traffic warden jacket – a nice nod to the ‘roundabout’ theme.
So if nothing else, the magazine itself is a beautiful object. Thankfully the content is great too, and being as academic as it is, it’s unsurprisingly heavily cited throughout – one of the benefits of a student publication. Almost every article is presented alongside either video stills or illustrations of the author’s project. One of my favourites is by ‘anon_💣’, taking the form of ‘a causal chat over Telegram with anon_☺ to understand the current state of the protests in Hong Kong’ (above).
Other interesting features include ‘going cashless’ by Ricardo Gonçalves (above), and a conversation with Paul Soulellis about queer methodologies and the concept of ‘becoming’ in relation to design practise. The pages are complex in design, but accessible.
A really impressive third issue from the MA Graphic Media Design course; this is what independent magazine-making is all about.
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