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Teal Triggs, writer and educator

Teal Triggs, writer and educator

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for the next instalment of our new ‘Issues’ feature. Just in case you didn’t read the last two (where we interviewed the wonderful writers Liv Siddal and Perrin Drumm), we’ll explain the idea again. Each week, we’re asking a different editor, illustrator, photographer, designer or general mag-fanatic to select three magazines from their collection: an old one, a new one, and a detail from a magazine that they find particularly excellent. If you’ve got a selection that you’d like to share with us, do get in touch!

Today, Teal Triggs is sharing some of her favourite mags with us. Teal is Professor of Graphic Design at the Royal College of Art and the author of many books, including
The School of Art and the hugely celebrated, must-have for anyone interested in independent publishing, Fanzines.

Like most magazine collectors, Teal has a very particular way of organizing her printed paraphilia, which she explained in detail for us:

“I’ve always had this desire to be able to organise all of my magazines like you would see in a library; spines all lined up in a row and in order by date. But I’m not disciplined enough and besides, I sort of like the serendipity offered by placing magazines and books randomly on a shelf. Brian Eno had the right idea: pure chance.”

Old Issue: Dot Zero (#2, 1966)
There’s nothing so brilliant like flipping through old issues of some of the classic profession-orientated Graphic Design magazines including American Center for Design Journal and Typografische Monatsblätter.

One of my favourites, however, is Dot Zero, - a short-lived (1966-1968), paper company sponsored (Finch), publication for Unimark - designed by Massimo Vignelli. In this second issue from 1966, the theme is on identity design where some of the greats like Jay Doblin, Reyner Banham and Gui Bonsiepe, brought their differing perspectives to the rise of corporate culture – a subject still very relevant today.

New Issue: Riposte (#5, 2015)
Always looking for a good women’s magazine and Riposte does the trick. I really like the confidence it exudes confirmed by the tagline: ‘A Smart Magazine for Women’. It has everything you want in a smart magazine: ‘smart’ editorial position (Danielle Pender, Founder & Editor-in-Chief), ‘smart’ design (Shaz Madani, Creative Director), and there is a bonus – it’s written for ‘smart’ readers, too. Absolutely no patronising words here.

Past issues have featured some of my all time favourite design idols including Paola Antonelli, Françoise Mouly and, the late Deborah Sussman. In the latest issue (No.5) there is even a story on the history of another great women’s magazines; Nova (1965-1975). Perfect.

Detail: Works That Work (#6, 2015)
I have a complete fascination for Tables of Contents. The idea of course is that you get a quick sense of what’s inside a publication, though some magazine designers in the past have taken a rather experimental view of this; I’m thinking of David Carson’s provocative work for Speak, Ray Gun, and others in the 1990s.

What I love about the Table of Contents in Works That Work: A Magazine of Unexpected Creativity (Issue 6), is the balance it gives to both image and text, while at the same time keeping things eminently legible. But then you wouldn’t expect anything less from the magazine’s editor, Peter Bil’ak, and the design studio Atelier Carvalho Bernau, now would you?

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