It’s been a big year for independent publishing; either it was dying a terrible death or giving birth to incredible new titles, falling under the pressure of a global financial crisis or turning into another industry that’s somehow managed to survive. The only thing that was clear was that nobody understood what the hell was going on –especially so-called experts – and so we all had to just grit our teeth and hope that people would buy our magazines. To celebrate the sort-of-survival of ink on paper here’s some of our favourite titles to spring up anew or weather the storm of 2013.
Kindling Quarterly (January 15)
Dads get neglected in the day-to-day of life. We don’t call them, we don’t write to them, we don’t really celebrate Father’s Day with anything that even looks like serious commitment. They don’t have their noisy online forums, experience custodial rights that are patchy at best and are forced to do the rubbish bits of childhood like attending football matches in the rain (at least that’s what stereotypes have taught me). But then Kindling came along and taught us that dads are cool dudes and deserving of much more respect than we ever really show them. Also they like Foucault.
Cat People (October 31)
Cat people is ingenious in that it takes a truism that applies to the internet (and thus to the world at large) and then applies it to a magazine. That truth? That people go absolutely batshit crazy for cats – they just love those guys and their furry little clawed hands. Needless to say there was much oohing and ahhing over this new title (and doubtless some purring too) which was surprisingly full of great editorial.
Esquire: The Big Black Book (October 10)
What do stylish men need apart from big watches, big houses and chicks with big… intellects? They need a magazine that tells them where to by the best brogues, the finest oxford shirts and the locations of all the best cocktail bars in the land. They also need to know who the big players are in contemporary culture and exactly how their merino wool cardigans are made. Esquire knew this was what stylish men wanted more than anything and put together their Big Black Book in recognition of that fact. It does EXACTLY what it needs to do in terms of editorial and feels glorious when you hold it in your hands too. Huge success!
Intern Magazine (July 10)
If you’ve not read about or read a copy of Intern this year then you must’ve had your head buried in the sand. Alec Dudson has been on a one-man mission to transform the face of internships in the UK and abroad with his exciting new magazine and a Kickstarter campaign that absolutely blew up. There’s more debate raised within its pages than I could feasibly summarise in this text so I would urge you to seek it out and buy a copy. You won’t be sorry you did.
Flaneur Magazine (June 24)
There are magazines that focus on one country or one city, but Flaneur is the first to focus its attention on just one street. The inaugural issue focussed on Berlin’s famous Kantstrasse through writers, artists, designers and photographers, resulting in an editorial direction that managed to be surprisingly broad for such a limited subject. It also looked utterly stunning.
magCulture: My Favourite Magazine (August 9)
If anyone knows about magazines it’s magCulture’s Jeremy Leslie, and this year, instead of just championing the magazines of others he produced his own title. My Favo(u)rite Magazine profiled the favourite printed titles of some of the industry’s biggest names at the likes of NME, Anorak, Harper’s Bazaar, Port, Eye and Bloomberg Businessweek. Plus it was all for a good cause. Two thumbs up!
- Curator Shonagh Marshall takes us through the highlights from Hair by Sam McKnight
- Yeji Yun’s imaginative zine combines frozen lands, whales and cocktails
- Zhang Kechun encapsulates the oblivion of China's mysterious Yellow River
- Artist Anna Valdez brings her eye for detail to digital painting
- Bold in its broadness, the work of Dave Singley
- Córdova Canillas seek inspiration between nostalgia and obsolescence for C de C annual
- Reasons Not To Do Graphic Design by Yotam Hadar
- Nostalgia in branding: top design studios analyse the NatWest and Co-op retrobrands
- Google and Monotype launch Noto, an open-source typeface family for all the world’s languages
- The only way is ethics: what are the moral obligations of a graphic designer?
- Rachel Levit illustrates contemporary relationships in new book
- Creative agency INT Works relaunches as Anyways, with a playful graphic identity