Shellsuit Zombie was founded in 2008 by a group of restless graduates as an ‘antidote to the existing design press’, and it set out to bring together advice and stories from renowned faces in the creative industry as well as young, unknown talent. The project came from the same sense of dissatisfaction that sparked Intern magazine, and its articles assure young creatives navigating temp jobs and a particularly rough economic climate that they’re not alone.
Although they’ve been around online and in print for years now, with issue six Shellsuit Zombie declare that they’re ‘still figuring things out’. The fantastic cover’s scanned typography seems to moan the words ‘I still don’t know what I’m doing’ – it evokes a zombie or a none-the-wiser 20-something’s exasperated voice. That feeling of continued uncertainty is exactly what the new issue masterfully tackles.
Off Life editor Daniel Humphry looks back on his first years as a graduate with a combination of dismay and fondness, and his article is accompanied by a bold illustration by Raj Dhunna (above). For an interview with the vibrant Studio Moross, Kate Moross herself illustrated the spreads in her characteristically colourful, hand-drawn style (below). Elsewhere, graphic designer and writer Theo Inglis shares his story of the snaking path he took to become a designer, and curator Sean Gilbert tells his post-graduation anecdote. Shellsuit Zombie is open and personable; its writers down-to-earth and honest.
For the ‘I still don’t know what I’m drawing’ section, Shellsuit Zombie asked a handful of illustrators to respond to their theme. Contributions range from the sketchy hands of Jamie Tobin (above) and Marja de Sanctis (below), to the geometric and graphic Thomas Hedger (also below). The latter’s portfolio is striking and blocky, a sure soon-to-be-favourite and go-to for editorial work.
The issues of Shellsuit Zombie are few and far between, yet they have a relevant and memorable voice. The magazine isn’t just interesting from the point of view of its candid interviews, but it also succeeds in being a lively, useful platform for young image-makers like the iconic Hedger to get noticed.
Editors and art direction: Sam Ailey, Alex Vissaridis