Steven Watson started Stack back in 2008 as a quick and easy way for people to enjoy the best independent magazines. Every month, Stack selects a different magazine and delivers it direct to thousands of subscribers around the world. With so many great independent magazines around at the moment, Steve wanted another way to put the best print in front of readers, so last year he also launched Sampler, a weekly flash sale that drops a different magazine offer into your inbox every Thursday morning, giving 10% off the cover price. Here to give us a taster, Steve skims his shelves and picks out some of his favourite Sampler offers so far.
Steven Gregor: Gym Class Magazine
I love the cover of this latest issue, featuring a rare copy of The Face with Eminem in a pink vest. Apparently his “people” went nuts when they saw the original because they thought it made him look gay, so the entire run was pulped and reprinted with him in a photoshopped orange vest. That sort of weird print geekery is what Gym Class is all about, which means it’s basically catnip for Sampler members.
Bertie Brandes and Charlotte Roberts: The Mushpit
I find Mushpit totally irresistible – it’s a satirical feminist magazine that’s funny, cool and sexy, and it has the sort of energy you only get when people are having fun and doing exactly what they want. They even started their own political party, New Labia. I’m not sure there’s a manifesto as such, but there are definitely T-shirts.
Human After All: Weapons of Reason
This was our best-selling Sampler offer to date, which I think says a lot about Sampler members. Weapons of Reason focuses on a different global challenge each issue (this one was population, seen through the prism of megacities) and uses illustration to present its insightful, revealing stories in a very accessible way. It’s perfect for the generalist reader who wants to go beyond the mainstream.
Lazlo Moulton: The Lazlo Reader
I really like the way that Sampler lets us explore niches. The first issue of The Lazlo Reader was a strange piece of arts publishing based around the theme of second chances, so it’s full of stories about remixing, remaking and re-contextualising. At £20 it’s fairly expensive, so you might expect it to not sell very well, but we sold over 50 copies in the few days the offer was live. It seems that people like to have weird stuff dropped into their inbox every now and then!
Bertrand Trichet and Olivier Talbot: Acid
We sent out Acid in the week before Christmas, but I don’t think people were ready for a surf magazine at that time of year. It’s a great magazine though and a brilliant read – it revolves around surfing, but it’s also a brilliantly trippy, arts-inspired magazine about life and love and finding your place in the world.
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- Karifurav Caihua’s weirdly erotic Japanese-inspired illustrations
- High octane Nike China animation gets kids to wear their bandages as a “badge of honour”
- “Evolve or die”: Bloomberg Businessweek creative director Rob Vargas on the magazine’s redesign
- Southbank Centre visual identity redesigned by North, to be a “confident masthead” for the institution
- Photographer Khadija Saye has died in the Grenfell Tower fire, her family confirm
- The Buzzfeed redesign: UK art director Tim Lane talks us through his seven-month overhaul
- Alex Norris’ hilarious three-panelled webcomics are universally appealing
- Fresh Yale grad Franci Virgili applies an academic approach to graphic design