In the UK you’d be hard-pushed to find a magazine with a primarily focus on feminism on the newsstands. As we’ve spoken about and celebrated on the journal countless times before, there are a lot of independents re-thinking what a woman’s mag should be, but few actually sit alongside Hello, Vogue and Women’s Weekly on the shelves of Tube side mag-stalls.
In Berlin, I often spot a feminist magazine called Missy lining the subway kiosks and it sits alongside glossies that focus on celebrities and make-up tips. The quarterly’s readership is roughly 20-35 year olds and it’s currently printing around 25,000 copies per issue. Founded in 2008, Missy is now celebrating its 30th issue with a special ‘magic feeling’ themed edition, so we spoke with art director Daniela Burger to find out a bit more about it.
“We didn’t actually know that it was the 30th issue when layouting,” she laughs. “We realized it just before it was going to print and thought, that’s a nice coincidence!”
Daniela commissioned seven Tarot Card designs from New York based illustrator John Lisle (above and below, he also did the front cover) for the ‘magic’ issue. The magazine has also been organized into seven sections signifying seven emotions, and these are evocatively represented by the cards. For example, The Sun represents happiness, The High Priestess is trust, and sadness is Death.
So that the overall aesthetic didn’t look “too emotional and soft”, Daniela also decided to offset the illustrations with coloful, 3-D style gradients. “The 3D-style is neutral, which I like for this purpose, because it clashes with the colours and motives on the cards,” she explains. There’s a lot going on in the spreads: the magazine packs a powerful punch – which feels right for a publication featuring articles that apply a feminist outlook to daily life, every day stresses, friendship, lust and love.
Daniela has been art directing the magazine since 2010, starting with the eighth issue. “I was so surprised that I was producing my 22nd, unbelievable!” she exclaims. “But it’s always interesting to work for Missy, it’s always growing and changing a little bit, like a friendly animal…”