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Emily Gosling, design writer

Emily Gosling, design writer

This week’s flick through a magazine collection sees us visiting London-based writer Emily Gosling. You’ll know her name from her time at It’s Nice That and Design Week as well as her contributions to many print magazines. She specialises in art, design, culture and women’s issues and has a hedgehog and two rats, who she claims act as small personal assistants. She is currently editorial resident at AIGA, contributing regularly to their Eye on Design blog.


As usual, we asked Emily to select a new magazine, and old magazine, and a special detail from a third magazine.


A new issue: Collection of Documentaries #3
Ok, it’s not new-new, it’s a month old, but I love photography journal Collection of Documentaries for a few things: its impressive weight, its refusal to issue an online accompaniment and the incredible new photography talent it manages to unearth.

Collection-of-Documentaries-spread-3 Collection-of-Documentaries-spread Collection-of-Documentaries-spread2

As per its editor Lee Crichton’s aims, it’s as much a book as a magazine. The design is super-minimal, with a cover entirely grey and with only a tiny footnote to indicate what the publication actually is. Images vary from those pilfered from pornography to Fanny Schlicter’s trip and beautiful images to a series that merges ripped-torso selves and snaps of terracotta pots, creating a beguiling portrait of youth culture today.

The Student covers
An old issue: The Student, 2005
Slightly self-indulgent one here, and again, not old-old (sorry for lack of brief-fulfilment here). Sorting through a bunch of stuff at my mum’s I found these old copies of the ‘magazine’ we made at my sixth form college.

The Student spread The Student spread1 The Student spread2

It’s a brilliant example of accidental design: clearly, no one making it really gave a shit what it looked like, yet now it looks like a sort of anti-design punk zine or something. Bringing important issues to thousands of students who really couldn’t give a shit, features range from Christmas cocktails to Marilyn Manson, who won the football and the DVD release of Terminator 3.

Take a Break cover

And another thing: Real-life magazines
There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure. Real-life magazines – Bella, Best, Pick Me Up, Take a Break – are the ultimate in sub-£1 joy. Want to know how to make a sanitary towel into a slipper? They got your back.

Take a Break Brainwaves Take a Break spread Take a Break Spread2

Worried you’re not hearing the phrase “once a cheat always a cheat” enough? Get to that women’s interest shelf. Want cheering up with a heartwarming tale of a cat who called 999 for you? No problem. Again, these are superb examples of the type of anti-design that east London party promoters would kill to be able to master.

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