Here’s a new title that visually stands miles apart from the rest of the current indie market. It’s either got an aesthetic that’s very old or very new, but either way, it’s a breath of fresh air amongst the white, spacious and minimalist designs that we’ve been seeing so much of lately.
The colourful, vibrantly decorative food and family mag Lunch Lady hails from Australia, it’s published by We Print Nice Things of Frankie fame and it’s edited by freelance photographer and cooking enthusiast Kate Berry. Like foodie Fire & Knives before it, each spread is holistically enveloped with illustrative details; looking through the pages is like taking a brisk walk in the opposite direction from the clean vigour of The Gourmand.
For Lunch Lady, decoration means hand-drawn speckles and ice-cream coloured patterns: there is a hint of Memphis group nostalgia in the design, which has been permeating so many areas of the creative industry recently. What’s fun about Lunch Lady, though, is that despite the fact that you can trace its design origins very easily, the way that it dresses itself is inextricably linked to its topic too. As it’s a magazine that’s largely to do with lunch-time, there’s headline typography made from cookies and icing (also above), and charts about how to know whether apricots are ripe that look as if they should be magnetically fixed to the fridge (below).
Sometimes magazines have a really lovely anecdote about why they first begun, and Lunch Lady has a particularly sweet and personal origin story. Kate originally launched the Lunch Lady Blog because her daughter was getting bullied at school for eating homemade, healthy lunches filled with snacks like pecan granola bars and avocado bread (It’s no surprise to find an interview with Cathy Olmedillas, founder of Anorak and kindred spirit; she too launched her magazine for her son). The blog began as a space for Kate to share her lunchtime recipes and hopefully inspire other parents to make similarly delicious lunchboxes.
As well as food recommendations, Kate used the blog to reflect on family life and parenting – now the magazine is a platform for other voices beyond Kate’s. This first issue includes recipes for zucchini and feta fritters, cherry jam, and shortbread, as well as stories on kitchens in the seventies (above) and fruit stickers (below).
Lunch Lady is the food magazine for Oh Comely, Frankie, and Amelia’s Magazine enthusiasts. It’s small size and intriguingly different layout will make it a magazine that’ll appeal to those that are tired of the minimal editorial design status quo too.