Magazine of the week: MacGuffin #4, The Sink

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Since its debut, bed themed issue, MacGuffin has proven to be a real contender in the world of design magazines. It’s shown that it’s capable of longevity and growth, and that it’s no newbie that’ll simply fade into the background. After winning ‘best magazine’ at the Stack Awards last year, the title has recently announced a collaboration with Erik Spiekermann’s creative agency, a partnership that Edenspikermann justifies because ‘MacGuffin has the potential to become the next iconic art magazine’.

That’s high praise, and also a lot to live up to. With staggering speed, the title has gone from one to watch to one that you can’t help but watch, because it’s so present and prevalent that Erik Spikermann is talking about it.

In it’s latest issue four, themed the sink, MacGuffin effortlessly continues to engage and charm readers. With characteristic humour and style, it looks at the history of sinks, the architecture of sewers, but also at the idea of bottomless sinkholes where everything disappears. There’s also, of course, a piece on the kitchen-sink drama. As we’ve come to expect from the magazine, it pushes its theme in the obvious directions, but also – with Hitchcockian cunning – into directions you’d never quite expect.

We’ve championed MacGuffin ever since its tremendous bed themed debut. I remember it appearing in the post – a real curiosity filled with fresh and playful graphics, and a host of smart design writing that wouldn’t feel out of place in something like the Harvard Design Review. How great to find something with a sense of humour, but that’s also fiercely witty and intelligent. The magazine’s concept of observing one ordinary design object per issue is solid, and although we’ve seen it before with Dirty Furniture, the way MacGuffin deals with the idea is distinct and very much its own.

The magazine proves that sometimes it doesn’t matter who has the idea first; it’s about who can carry the force of a good idea and really make it work. Edenspikermann words about the magazine’s potential to be the next iconic art mag are lofty – it’s difficult to imagine a title that’s so specific and untethered to context becoming one of the most iconic reflections of contemporary design or art. It’ll be interesting, moving forward, to see whether MacGuffin finds a way to deal with timely critique despite its restrictive and specific approach. But right now, it hopefully won’t change a thing, because it’s recipe works and it transforms even the most everyday of objects into the source of a page-turner.

Editors-in-chief: Kirsten Algera & Ernst van der Hoeven
Graphic Design: Sandra Kassenaar

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