Dance Ink volume 8 #1
We were excited enough about the return of Dance Ink to interview creative director Abbott Miller a few weeks back without seeing the actual magazine. Now we’ve seen the real thing, we’re even more excited.
We’re excited because of the simple purity and quality of its production. The large 255 x 365mm pages arrive well-protected in a transparent plastic sleeve, adding weight to the 60 pages of beautiful papers. The cover sets the mood – a crisp colour photograph by Christian Whitkin is surrounded by dancing typography. All the elements are artfully placed, the most flambouyant gesture being the backward italicisation of a couple of the characters of the word ‘dancing’.
Inside, a series of shoots (all by Whitkin) unfold in full-page glory, stunningly printed on the heavy, matt Mohawk papers. The quality of the blacks in the monochrome shots is wonderful; conversely the white backgrounds of other pages are starkly clean. The photography is a great exposition of dance, but the art direction and picture editing make the images literally dance.
With little written content, the headlines provide texture now and again, always working with rather than conflicting with the images. Mis-registered CMYK adds movement one time, variations in scale another. Nothing is overdone.
We see plenty of magazines pushing at the edges of what’s possible, whether through naivety or a simple desire to experiment. Dance Ink does something else; it takes great photography, strong art direction, intelligent typography and superb print and production and makes a truly special editorial experience. Abbott Miller and his team have left all the hard work on the InDesign pasteboard. The result is a quiet but beautiful series of layouts, a gorgeous Magazine of the Week.
It’s great to see Abbott Miller’s interest in dance return to print after several app experiments. As he told us in the interview, ‘there is such an allure about the stability of print’.