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Ten years of Colette
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Ten years of Colette

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As part of their tenth birthday celebration, top-trendy Paris store Colette ('styledesignartfood') have invited ten independent magazines to participate in a joint project, the very limited edition (x1000 copies) publication '10 Magazines Celebrate 10 Years of Colette'. The magazines involved are mainly from the fashion end of the spectrum: Big, Dazed, Fantastic Man, Huge, i-D, Paradis, Permanent Food (the non-fashion exception), Purple, Self Service and V.

Sounds great, right? Almost Colophon-like in it's ambition! All these magazines have (at least at some point) been ground-breaking and deserve their place in the independent magazines hall of fame (now there's a project). So when the package containing my copy turned up this morning I tore it open straight away and… well to say it didn't live up to expectations is an understatement.

The ten magazines have contributed twenty pages each from their latest issues. Not new or changed pages, but the exact same pages that are already out there in print. And they've been cobbled together in alphabetical order on cheap paper wrapped in a badly created cover design (above). This is a rare cover that looks better shown smaller on a screen – the actual thing is a blurry digital image.

The one interesting thing the publication highlights is that the format and paper type really matter in these magazines. Printing these pages together at one size on the same paper almost removes their identities. It's not just their individual choices of scale and paper that count but the fact of variation between each magazine that helps define them in a way I hadn't previously fully realised. The design of Fantastic Man, for instance, a particular favourite of mine, looks really ordinary without it's beautiful silk-matt paper stock.

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