I first wrote about Toronto's Coupe magazine in my book MagCulture back in 2003. The magazine had then just reached its sixth issue, but hearing nothing since (its hard to find copies here in the UK) I assumed that like so many independent magazines it had had its moment and ceased publishing. Then last week its founder Bill Douglas sent me a package of recent issues, the content looking better than ever. The cover of issue 15 is shown above, along with some spreads form the same issue below.
First thing to point out is that despite its name Coupe is not about cars. Nor is it quite like any other magazine out there. Take a look at this selection of front covers for a general feel of what the magazine is about.
It uses the magazine format to present material not usually associated with magazines. Each issue takes a theme, sometimes pretty loose, and plays around with words and images to create a stimulating, highly visual, but largely unstructured mood board.
Yet it is clearly still a magazine. The running order is skillfully managed to take best advantage of the ebb and flow of pages, using changes in pace to maintain interest. The examples below are from the most recent issue, no15, a photographic record of the typographic clutter found around Toronto. It is a beautifully produced magazine that deserves a wider availability.