Frame & Mark
If you don’t already know Frame magazine you need to find an issue. Published from Amsterdam since 1998, it’s been covering international interior design for 50 issues. Two reasons to see it: first, it manages to make the world it covers relevant way beyond its intended audience of interiors specialists, reflecting the wider mixing of design disciplines happening today; second it looks great, courtesy of Dutch design studio COMA.
While Frame does interiors, it’s new sister publication Mark does architecture. This 240 page, large-format, quarterly magazine (at what length does a magazine become a book?) presents a mix of small and major building projects and again makes them interesting to an audience beyond architects.
Reflecting their shared desire to break boundaries, the two magazines are unashamedly designed in the most flamboyant manner. Instead of following the traditional minimalist approach taken by most of design and architecture press, Frame and Mark each use design to express the excitement of the content they are presenting.
Each issue of Frame, published six times a year, has a new set of effects and design tricks, all interesting but never over-indulgent. Mark, designed by Machine, has retained a singular graphic identity for its first two issues that is even more successful than Frame’s design. It uses a small set of tools to create a varied range of designs, as the images below demonstrate.
These are some of the most exciting page designs I’ve seen in a long time. When you analyse what the components of these pages are, there’s very little there: pictures, two typefaces, and plenty of graphic patterning. But the way these parts are combined and overlaid make the pages absolutely electric. The pages are very designed but in a way that adds to, rather than detracts from, the content. Indeed, it’s the content – pictorial and written – that jumps forward from every page, despite the freeform design approach.
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