The size of Flaneur impresses me every time I receive a new issue; it feels like a broadsheet has collided with a book, or like you’re peering through a microscope at a magazine so that it’s blown up to great proportions. This is apt, especially because of the microcosmic way that they investigate a single street for each issue. Issue five explores Fokionos Negri in Athens, a boulevard that was once a river but now is green and bustling – and the cover abstractly reflects the atmosphere of the place. In the past the covers have been largely photographic, but this time Flaneur have opted for abstract, psychedelic graphics and cascading typography.
Last Friday there was an event in Berlin celebrating 10 years of mono.kultur (more on this later this week) and Flaneur founder Ricarda Messner described the way that the design always changes to reflect the street. I love this – the cover becomes a way to visually capture their experience as true flaneurs wandering a new community. Curious about the way that the psychedelic pattern on the cover is unique to the atmosphere of Fokionos Negri, I spoke with one of the designers, Michelle Phillips of studio y-u-k-i-k-o. ‘The cover is just the beginning of a rather psychedelic issue,’ Michelle explained, ‘During our time in Athens we were totally inspired by the Athenians we met and their wonderful imagination, energy, enthusiasm and generosity.’
The energy and warmth of those they met seems reflected by the flashes of red and the pattern’s darting movement. Typography – emobossed in metallic silver foil – as the cover’s centre piece was also important though: ‘Athenians are especially good at telling great stories and we decided to put an excerpt of text on the cover to highlight the literature-heavy nature of the issue.’
Beneath all of the text, the shimmering blue graphic stands out most, an abstract shape that reflects the rush of water below the boulevard. Michelle explains further: ‘Fokionos Negri is built over a river (you can hear it sometimes if you put your ear to the ground) hence the cover pattern eludes to flowing water – a theme that runs as an undercurrent throughout the issue.’
Some more images of the new issue:
Tickets are still available for The Modern Magazine 2015, a day of talks by the best contemporary magazine-makers, including Grashina Gabelmann, editor of Flaneur. London, 29 October.
Buy tickets now.