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May 2019

May 2019

Our monthly rounds-up veers from leftover art to imaginary videogames via toiletpaper art and environmental fashion. Plus several doses of politics and protest and a pair of new arrivals.

Ordinary #8
The latest issue of the ‘quarterly fine art photography’ mag stars the toilet roll as its featured object. The typically twisted results include the silly (a paint roller unfurls a roll of toilet paper), the surreal (toilet paper sheets have been separated then taped back together and re-rolled) and the ugly (a clumped mass of wet toilet paper emerges from a WC). The simple idea keeps on giving!

Brick #7
Bi-annual hip-hop magazine Brick backs up its contemporary design with some great photography and in-depth essays and articles. The Specials are featured alongside Saffiyah Khan, who was photographed standing up to an EDL protester in a Specials t-shirt, and has since co-written a track with the band and will be joining them on tour.

Mission #2
Launched as ‘The first philanthropic fashion media brand’, each bi-annual issue focuses on one cause, and donates a percentage of profits in aid of it. This time round it’s the environment, which feels very timely, and is jam-packed with lots of big activist names including Erin Brockovich. The magazine leans toward fashion-y but has plenty of content that wouldn’t be out of place in National Geographic.

FIN? #4
This 36-page publication features the best of the last four editions of an online zine that repurposes lost ideas, leftover cuttings and other forgotten work output from Manchester design studio (and collage specialists) Dr.Me. The result is colourful chaos, contained in a vivid transparent blue sleeve. Magazine-y!

Ossian #1
A slender new literary journal with a cover featuring the seductive illustration ‘Pink in Bloom’ by Joshua Carlisle. A tale of ‘Ossian the Bard’ introduces the magazine’s modest but ambitious beginnings. Fiction, essays, journalism and the graphic arts are pondered and explored inside.

Pleasure Garden #5
Two striking cover options – Derek Jarman sitting regally amongst his Dungeness Garden, or a sensual collage by Linder Sterling (shown) – adorn another strong issue from Pleasure Garden. This escapist magazine delves into the concept of ‘Au Naturel’ in relation to botanics and ourselves.

Slanted #33, Prague
The travelling graphics magazine arrives in the Czech Republic to survey the Prague design scene. The mix of design work, interviews, profiles and ads promise a fresh look at a city generally seen as overcome by tourists and stag parties. An invaluable addition to the Slanted series, and good to see foundry Type Together profiled.

Tom Tom #36
Going all guns blazing into The Politics Issue of her drumming magazine Tom Tom, Mindy Abovitz centres this issue in a wider debate about the decisions made globally that affect musicians everywhere. Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokno talks about what she learned in a Russian prison, and we get schooled about ‘The Other Rock Herstory’ by Laina Dawes.

Raid #1
This glossy two-colour zine grew from a tumblr, and sets a simple challenge to graphic designers: devise a video game and design a logo for that game. The results are a delightful mix of wit and pathos; ‘Friendlies isn’t a game as much as it is a cow friendship simulator,’ is one example that needs to be made real.

Contra #2, Protest
Over 50 years after the 1968 summer of protest, Contra looks at what protects means today. From overviews of work by artists Peter Kennard and Nick Cave to investigations of protest in Afghanistan and North Korea, Contra takes a strong stance and uses its 194 well-designed pages to dig deeper than other publications.

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