The fifth issue of Migrant Journal, the penultimate one of their planned series of six, has just been published and is surely the best one yet. It’s a familiar mix of elements but each one excels in its own way. Here, I look at those elements.
The first thing to note is the bespoke nature of all the parts that make up the page. From the sans headline face, to the use of special inks, the design and production are exemplary. This has been the case since the first issue a couple of years ago but the warm combination of the orange and gold inks here are immediately engaging. The orange section dividers are beautifully dense (above) and when added to images and infographics the special inks bring them to life without distracting from the content (below).
A criticism levelled at previous issues has been a certain coldness; the colour choices help this time of course but so do images like this illustration (above) created inhouse by design team Offshore Studio. Depicting humankind’s addiction to the mineral Lithium, they use a more figurative approach to storytelling that is pulls you into the text.
The warmer colours and figurative art create a pleasing contrast with the structured typography and grid structure that has featured throughout the series. Delibarately academic in style – the magazines are intended to be archived for future reference – the stark monochrome approach works well agains the context of the warmer colours and visuals.
And finally there’s the photography. The issue concerns the flow of small particles around the world – the minerals we shift for industry and land reclamation. ‘Shifting Sands’ is a photo series by Magnum’s Sim Chi Yin that shows the mixed results of mining and harvesting: the extraordinary achievements in creating new land off Malaysia and Singapore is contrated with the erosion left behind in Vietnam as sand is dredged and reomved. The abiove imnages shows platforms being floated into place in Singapore as a basis for the largest container port in the world.
Migrant Journal has always been important as an editorial project; its stories are essential reading. With this issue all the elements have fallen into place to make it a brilliant editorial project — worthy, beautiful and engaging.
Editors: Justinien Tribillon, Michaela Busse and Damaso Randulfe
Art direction and design: Isabel Seiffert and Christoph Miler (Offshore Studio)