Talking over dinner last night I was reminded of a sometimes overlooked area of indie publishing: the image-led magazine.
Photography and illustration have been a key part of magazines since the technology first existed to reproduce them (the first printed image is recorded as 1880). At first a luxury, a hundred years later we had become blasé about the ready availability of images in print. And that was before the internet—the ubiquity of the digital image has further transformed our attitudes toward the image. We take them for granted today, not least because we are all as much image-producers/publishers as image-viewers.
And yet… the original promise of the internet has changed. We were supposed to have access to search all human knowledge: first, text and words, and then image. But personalisation now means each of us will receive different search results for the same query. And every time we find something we like, we’re served more of the same.
Ironically, then, it’s entirely plausible that a physical search through the shelves of a magazine shop is more likely to unearth a surprising result than a quick Google. And we’re seeing new magazines addressing precisely that need.
We’ve highlighted the platform magazine here before—titles like Slanted, Profane, Adhesivo that survey areas of creative visual endeavour with image and text.
These have set the scene for the a new range of magazines might be described as Instagram in print; collections of images collected together around loose themes. A few have been featured here recently, see the links below, but today I want to feature examples from the latest issue of Sindroms.
Each issue of this Danish magazine is based around a single colour—this sixth issue is Blue—and such a tight theme means that disparate imagery can be collected together and remain visually linked, as the examples throughout the text here show.
We’ll be looking at newer examples of these image-led magazines over the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, another element of dinner chat last night was the reminder of the power of tearing an image from a magazine and sticking it on the wall alongside another one. A simple action, but one far superior using printed pages than any technological attempt to replicate it onscreen.
Creative director: Miruna Sorescu