Sometimes a new, independent magazine turns up out of the blue and genuinely surprises me. The latest example is KasinoA4, brought back from Helsinki by my colleague Ian.
The magazine is very simple. Printed in black and white with a single-colour cover it may not sound that clever or interesting, but there is something very special about the content and the way it is presented. Part of this is the way simple ideas are presented in a simple visual manner, but the real difference is the knowing wit that underlines the whole project. This wit, evident in an almost throw-away attitude to the content and layout, is a refreshing change in the often over-serious world of independent magazines. It’s something that KasinoA4 shares with some of the best such magazines. Carl*s Cars and Re- spring to mind, for the way they provide a light touch to their subject without losing sight of their passion for the content.
Two regular features stand out. 'Empty Sheet' asks six people from a single group to draw a representation of a season; a group of Russian volleyball players are asked to depict Autumn, six Somalians draw their expectation of Winter, and Finnish grandmothers do Summer.
'Monthly Slogans' rails against the glut of recommendations and information continually presented to us by the media. It features just five or six highlights from the coming few months, each illustrated by a relevant quotation. 02/07 informs us that this year is not a leap year, with the following lines from Woody Allen: ‘I’m going to kill myself. I should go to Paris and jump off the Eiffel Tower. I’ll be dead. You know, in fact, if I get the Concorde, I could be alive for six hours in New York but dead three hours in Paris. I could get things done, and I could also be dead’. 03/07 features the advice, ‘The better you look the more you see’, from Bret Easton Ellis, applied to Colophon2007. I couldn’t have put it better myself!
The spreads below give an idea of the clean, modern look of the magazine, a design that plays off the humour of the content. And the image of false teeth is from a photo feature about things discovered in sewage at the Vikki Sewage Treatment Plant…