Our Magazine of the Week is the latest publication from the ever-busy People of Print. Not content with their recent self-titled heavy tome of a book and the quarterly Print Isn’t Dead, the new publication will be landing monthly. Just as well, perhaps, it’s quite a slight publication.
As its name suggests, Posterzine comes as a folded poster. There are other projects like this – Belgium’s Postr is a good example – and its a fine format, satisfyingly tactile and immediately a physical thing. It takes a fair amount of space but is worth the little extra effort to expand the 16 pages into its A1 glory. ‘But is it a magazine?’ I hear you ask – PoP founder Marcroy Smith has a definitive answer on that, more of which later.
First, let’s just enjoy the scale and printed beauty of this object as it unfolds here. Each issue features one designer/PoP collaborator, on this case specialist print studio Heretic (the orange issue one shown above featured Eike Konig). An interview on one side is contrasted by a poster on the other; simple, neat and very desirable.
It’s a clever and ambitious project – moving into a monthly production and distribution model is bold, while the simple editorial premise overcomes the one criticism I’d level at some of PoP’s work to date, that the editorial content can be weak. This is something Marcroy is aware of, and issue by issue Print Isn’t Dead has noticably upped its editorial threshold. With Posterzine it feels another strong step has been taken.
Being a product of People of Print, the print and production is immaculate of course, even down to a highly critical self-assessment. Talking to Marcroy he highlighted the ‘crowsfoot’ effect that occurs at corners when you fold a sheet three times (above). He was disappointed, but I enjoyed the nostalgia it brought about of the same effect on fold-out poster publications from the past. One of Marcroy’s publishing heroes is the late Felix Dennis, and it’s worth noting Dennis started his career with similar fold-out publications, albeit featuring seventies celebs like Bruce Lee.
But does a cute format and some special inks make a magazine? One way of establishing this is to sumbit it to the British Library, who are obliged to collect a copy of every magazine and newspaper in the UK. ‘I sent the Library a diagram of the particular fold,’ says Marcroy, ‘and they classified it as a magazine. It’s not folded as a concertina, it opens up like a magazine.’ So now we know.
At £5.99 Posterzine is the perfect entry into the world of People of Print, with the added benefit of some smart wall decoration post- read.