In 2013, Toronto-based printers Flash Reproduction set up Wayward Arts magazine as a platform for Canadian graphic design, and also presumably to create set of eye-catching and intriguing samples. Each issue invites a different award-winning Canadian design studio to create “the magazine of their dreams”, and it allows them to interpret a yearly theme in whatever way they choose.
The most recent issue of Wayward Arts is by studio Blok and tackles ‘counterculture’. Their Bauhaus-coloured magazine is wide in focus, and it’s a modern manifesto that explores movements through the ages – from Dada to Nelson Mandela to the activist art collective Tucuman Arde. Blok chose to work with French folds (above) in order to physically express the sense of opposition inherent in ‘counterculture’, and the use of raw, yellowed paper evokes the sturdy, well-worn texture of radical pamphlets from the past. Peel back the folds, and words from an essay by the cultural anthropologist Dr. Bob Deutsch peek out from behind the collage of images.
One of the spreads is a collection of Zenit covers (above) – Zenit was an avant-garde, underground magazine published in the former Yugoslavia, a space for anti-war idealism and art. Blok’s selected images range from the iconic to the artistic and the political; I enjoy how it’s a collection of the obvious and the lesser-known (below).
This particular issue has done well on design blogs recently: it’s one of Wayward Arts’ strongest to date, which is why we’ve chosen it for our Magazine of the Week. The idea of collaborating with studios on a magazine is a great way for a printers to showcase what they’re capable of, especially if the studios choose such an unusually vibrant and tactile approach to their design.
Here’s a selection of some of the other magazines that Flash Reproduction have produced to give you an idea of the variation from issue to issue: