Publication Archive

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    You’ll probably gather form the title that Printing Friends magazine is all about litho fanatics hanging out and inspiring creative work, but for its seventh issue it’s widened its remit to tackle more universal and accessible themes like illustration, photography, typography and personal stories. It’s also travel-themed, meaning they’ve sent gangs of creatively-minded people off around the world to visit lands as far-flung as Austin, Texas, Johannesburg in South Africa and even Kyrgyzstan. Annoyingly Printing Friends is in Swedish so we don’t have a god-damned clue what happened on these trips, so instead we’d like to focus on Snask, whose design expertise has shaped the look and feel of this new edition.

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    Cycling magazine Rouleur has always been about much more than spokes and lycra. The publication – which in 2012 released previously unseen photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson – boasts a considered design aesthetic and stunning imagery, and is now celebrating the launch of its 50th issue with a cover designed by Sir Paul Smith. To mark this milestone, Rouleur’s assistant editor Andy McGrath talks us through some of his favourite cover images and the stories behind them.

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    Salvador Dalí is known for his striking Surrealist paintings, forays into film and fashion and masterful moustache maintenance but, until now, not for his gastronomic talents. Few copies of his 1973 cookbook Les Diners de Gala were ever sold; perhaps potential purchasers were worried the book might mess with their minds, or they didn’t fancy eating anything from the most French chapter imaginable – “Les spoutniks astiqués d’asticots statistisques” – dedicated to snails and frogs.

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    Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain is easily one of the most mythologised, eulogised and conspiracy-theorised musicians of the last century. Whether we consider his sad induction into the 27-club, his tumultuous relationship with Malaysia Airlines mystery-solving wallflower Courtney Love or the various mental and physical ailments that manifested themselves so intensely through his songs, Kurt’s was a life destined for scrutiny.

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    Boasting PVC-clad bottoms, surreal jazz photography and beautifully-rendered risograph prints of basketball hoops, Shabazz Projects’ homepage certainly offers a well-curated and striking experience. The LA-based publishing platform was founded by Hassan Rahim and Brian Okarski, releasing art, photography and design-focused books and objects, all with a run of 200 or fewer editions. Stand-out pieces include the Various Basketball Hoops risographs, which put a whimsical spin on these often weary-looking monoliths; and Eric Wrenn and Antje Peters’ Jazz photographs, which place instruments against a dramatic plume of smoke. Hassan and Brian say their aim is to “provoke and surprise,” and from the images on their site alone, they’re certainly not letting themselves down.

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    In March this year we discussed the intriguing Middle Eastern publication The Outpost, one of the first independent titles from the Lebanon to be distributed internationally and in English. At the time the guys behind the design, Spanish/German/of no fixed address studio Rifle, didn’t have a website so we couldn’t show off any more of their portfolio. But since then they’ve managed to both finish work on another beautiful publication and squeeze a new website out into the world. Not bad!

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    If all the magazines and small publications that used the internet as their subject matter were dumped on your head it’d be curtains for you – there’s bloody loads of them. Some, like Offscreen, deal with the people that make digital culture happen and try to bring these unsung heroes out from behind their screens into the RGB limelight, others, like French publication Nichons – Nous Dans l’Internet (Tits – We In The Internet) are more conceptually-minded, analysing and assessing the social and cultural phenomena brought about by the ubiquity of technology.

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    Lawrence Zeegen has never been one to mince his words. The illustrator, writer and dean of design at London College of Communication has recently launched his new book Fifty Years Of Illustration which he co-wrote with Grafik editor Caroline Roberts. It’s an impressively ambitious undertaking with the duo condensing five decades into 1,000 images by 240 illustrators from 30 countries. Lawrence admits it’s a “pretty personal selection” but one that aims to “represent the movers and shakers across each decade according to the work I believe was instrumental in shaping the discipline.”

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    When photographer Maija Astikainen met writer Aischa Berg in Madrid back in 2010, the two bonded over their passion for community gardens. In fact so interested were the pair in this phenomenon that they decided to produce a book on the theme and four years later Horticultured Cities was published. This timescale reflects the assiduity with which both Maisha and Aiscah went about their research, and the publication features insights from London, Helsinki and Berlin as well as Madrid.

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    Since 2011 Catalogue have operated a design studio between London and Leeds, creating branding, exhibition design and print products for an incredible collection of cultural clients. They’ve handled Yorkshire’s excellent Beacons Festival, popped up at Beach London, branded a tape-only record label and made British brand The National Skateboard Co. look seriously respectable. All great pieces of work.

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    Kennedy magazine describes itself as “a biannual journal of curiosities” and the Athens-based publication’s second issue has recently been released. The look and feel has been overseen by Commission Studio, who are London-based designers and longtime friends of the site David McFarline and Christopher Moorby.

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    Anyone who’s into niche magazines of yore will perhaps have heard of Scamp – the racy 1950s gentlemen’s magazine that has since become something of a collectors’ item. Fast forward 64 years and a very different Scamp has been born, and this one is “a brand new magazine full of chit-chat and arty-farty editorial projects.” We were intrigued by this odd-sided, floppy publication, so we decided to speak to the editor Oskar Oprey to find out a little more about it.

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    The changing role of album artwork in a digitally-defined music culture has been much discussed; meanwhile the art of the gig poster seems to be in fairly rude health. But there’s another story to be told; a lesser-examined but tremendously significant area of visual music-related collateral – the flyer.

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    Londoners! This weekend sees the launch of arty book fair k-i-o-s-k and to celebrate this, creative south London wunderkinder/collective King Zog have made a quintessentially King Zog publication entitled Tracing Emin. This textbook-style pamphlet that sees photographs of Tracey Emin overlaid with tracing paper for, you guessed it, you to draw on. They recruited another south London artist, much lauded skater boy artist Kyle Platts to go to town on Tracey and surround her gritty photographs with his trademark creatures, animals, shapes and graffiti-like doodles. The combination of Kyle’s comic book style and Tracey’s emotional fine art photography is a little bit like eating peanut butter and marmite simultaneously – oddly fantastic, and a bit naughty.

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    What does Little White Lies do best? It talks to the shiniest shimmering stars of the film world about, well, films. And it asks them one question more than any other: what exactly do they love about movies?

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    Reading Bonjour is like seeing a beautiful symphony translated onto the page, all bright swirls of colour and twinkles of detail which transport you to a dreamy land. It begins as the birds start to sing and traces the start of an ordinary day but somehow makes it seem oh so very magical. The day arrives as a big beamy sun, glowing in tie-dye neon orange glory, and the plants burst into life looking like fantastical plasticine creations. I could happily gaze at French designer Anne Brugni’s cosmic illustrations for a whole day and float away on her marbled clouds into the speckled sky. Its lyrical charm also owes something to musician and writer McCloud Zicmuse’s storytelling. Kids nourished with books like this are surely guaranteed to become creative geniuses.

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    Once upon a time, in a farmyard not so far away, Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin created some of the most iconic characters of early children’s TV. In the Smallfilms studio – a barn and some outbuildings – Bagpuss was born, the Clangers sprung to life and Ivor the Engine first tooted his horn.

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    The closest many of us Brits ever come to a machine gun is when we’re hiding behind a bucket of popcorn the size of a small child in the front row at the cinema, so you can imagine our fascination at seeing this new series by Brian Finke. Brian spent four years photographing US marshals, the longest standing law enforcement agency in America who work under the federal courts. They are “tasked with protecting judges, prosecutors and witnesses, and are also responsible for transporting prisoners and tracking down the country’s most dangerous fugitives,” the book explains.

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    White Zinfandel is created from a very simple recipe but, like all of the most delectable things, it’s the added touches – the hint of this and dash of that – which make it a chef’s special at the publishing dinner table. Essentially, it’s a magazine about food and culture. It looks at “what happens when creative people, across disciplines and media, get asked to make art about food.” But the sheer complexity of each issue sets it apart.

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    This weekend galleries, zines, publishing houses and rare book dealers are getting together at London’s Whitechapel Gallery for the UK’s biggest annual celebration of international art publishing, taking place concurrently with the New York Art Book Fair. Three solid days of events ensue, including book signings by Bridget Riley, Nadav Kander and Douglas Coupland (who is launching new publication everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything at the fair, too) and events such as Unbinding the Book challenge the tradition concept of publishing altogether.

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    Women wear clothes. Men do too, actually, but they weren’t the subject of this investigation into our relationships with the things we wear, started by Canadian writer Sheila Heti and brought to fruition with the help of artist Leanne Shapton and co-editor of The Believer Heidi Julavits. Between them, and with the help of 639 other women, they authored Women in Clothes, the satisfyingly chunky new tome which considers every aspect of the way women think about what they choose to put on their bodies, from tote bags and digital wristwatches to the wardrobes of their mothers and questions such as “do you ever wish you were a man?”

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    With the Writers in Residence series, Alain de Botton and Visual Editions sure have hit on an awesome recipe. Take one rather brilliant writer, mix with a mysterious organisation, throw in some tasty design and some crisp photography, and you have yourself one extremely readable publication.

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    Double dose of good news here for fans of magic wand-fingered artist Patrick Kyle. He’s got a new publication out! It’s called Distance Mover and it looks incredible. “It’s a science fiction comic that follows the exploits of a character called Mr Earth and his flying machine the Distance Mover, a vehicle capable of moving great distances at fantastic speeds!” Patrick told us.

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    Here it is, the third issue (or volume) of KENZINE, the spectacular publication sporadically released by the fashion brand that never fails to be utterly garish and desirable at once. This time the magazine has been taken over by the TOILETPAPER lads, Maurizio Cattelan, Pierpaolo Ferrari and Micol Talso. KENZO have been known for producing some of the most colourful, zany stuff out there in the fashion world of late – so to collaborate with their publishing counterparts seems to be something of a match made in heaven. Want one of your own? Good luck, “KENZINE Vol.3 will be available from 27th September 2014 exclusively in KENZO stores worldwide and from March 2015 in other selected retail stores.” We asked the KENZO press guys for a copy and were told no way, so if you see one – grab it! For now, the pictures below will have to do.

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    There’s not an amateur photographer alive who hasn’t got a roll of film back from the developing booth of their local supermarket to find that almost every picture is clouded over by a giant fleshy finger. Usually it obstructs most if not all of the image and sends the photograph itself catapulting straight into the nearest bin in a fit of frustration.

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    The thriving independent publishing sector is a constant fillip in the well-worn discussion over the future of print, but one new title is more direct than most in articulating its belief in a bright future for tangible reading material. Over recent months we watched with interest as Marcroy Smith of People of Print, announced, crowd-funded and launched Print Isn’t Dead and the response has been extremely positive. Conceived as “a showcase of outstanding illustration and design work demonstrating and pushing the boundaries of print in all forms” the Kickstarter campaign pulled in nearly £7,000 from an initial target of £4,520. This is, as you’d expect, a print lover’s dream, taking unashamedly “geekish delight in printing equipment” as MagCulture’s Jeremy Leslie put it.

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    Photographer James Pearson-Howes has spent the past eight years immersed in the strange, mythical world of British folk culture. The London-based creative has become obsessed with the darker sides of our islands ritualistic past; the green men, morris dancers and wicker costumes, as well as customs native to single villages in the West Country. His photographs have now been brought together into three books, printed by Ditto Press, and a limited edition of 20 bound together into the British Folk Trilogy, a comprehensive collection of images that define our bizarre past. The book is as rare as hens’ teeth, so if you want one you’d best contact James at once.

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    A bright red book emblazoned with gold type exclaiming “MICHAEL JACKSON” is like the art publication version of click-bait. Michael Jackson and Other Men is a collection of drawings by artist Dawn Mellor, produced when she was a teenager and she was really, really into Michael Jackson. “However commonplace these kind of adolescent drawings might be, they are a precursor to Dawn’s concern with celebrity and fan culture; also functioning as subjective social documents,” say Studio Voltaire, who published the title. “There is something endearing, and somewhat pathetic, about the Jackson drawings – both as a reminder of a tragic cultural icon and the indication of the burgeoning sexuality and artistic ambition of the young artist.”

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    It seems that Jacob Klein and Nathan Cowen are incapable of turning out a dud project. From their humble beginnings as a meticulously curated stream of stunning imagery to their present guise as multi-faceted design and art direction agency, the Haw-Lin boys just keep on coming up with the goods. This might not seem surprising to devotees of their original Haw-Lin blog, but it’s surprising how often arbiters of style lack substance. Not so for these boys; their fanatical eye for detail goes beyond simple aesthetic curation, extending into a portfolio of capsule collections for fashion brands, editorial shoots for the most erudite magazines and immaculate lookbooks that manage to add depth and pace to publications that can often be painfully bland.

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    We’ve been on the edge of our seats waiting to announce the arrival of the Autumn issue Printed Pages, but it’s going to be at the printers for another whole week, and we couldn’t handle the anticipation any more.

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    Circular is the members magazine of the Typographic Circle, a not-for-profit organisation that unites type designers and enthusiasts the world over. Included in its members’ list are names like Ken Garland, Angus Hyland and Jonathan Barnbrook, so the design of each issue HAS to be up to scratch. For its 18th edition the mighty Pentagram have continued their design duties, with Dominic Lippa and Jeremy Kunze overseeing the project.

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    I am a big believer that every magazine should be able to sum up what it does in a few words. New title The-Art-Form does just that with the pithy statement that it’s “a limited edition publication about art and artists.” Issue one features six artists – Ian Davenport, Peter Liversidge, Rana Begum, Dan Baldwin, Michael Reisch and Paul Insect – and each has been asked 13 questions ranging from why they make art to their favourite place. The answers vary not only in tone and subject matter (as you’d expect) but also in form, so while Ian has provided handwritten answers, Michael, Dan and Rana have created paintings, drawings and sketches in response to the questionnaire.

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    Nourished Journal is a new bi-annual lifestyle magazine from MADE Publishers, the same stable who bring us MADE Quarterly and The Process Journal. Beyond that it’s quite hard to pinpoint what it’s about, and that’s kind of the point, as it aims to reflect “a holistic view of life.”

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    Back in 2012, New York-based “computer programmer, composer and artist” (the order is his) Cory Arcangel started a Twitter feed called Working On My Novel. It Retweets people who use that phrase, and now Cory has published a book which brings together a selection of some of those Tweets (all with the permission of the authors it should be noted).

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    One day news might reach us of a Unit Editions publication that doesn’t knock our socks off but to paraphrase Gladiator “not yet…not yet.” Type Plus is the latest title from Adrian Shaughnessy and Tony Brook’s imprint and it sets out “to investigate the practice of combining typography with images to increase effectiveness, potency and visual impact.”

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    Thomas Rousset and Raphaël Verona’s Waska Tatay is fairly ambiguous at first glance. The cover is a simple yellow-to-blue fade with the title placed inconspicuously on the spine; but the content is altogether more arresting. Using a mixture of reportage and staged portraiture the photo book documents the pair’s trip to the Altiplano region of Bolivia and their encounters with witch doctors, spiritual healers and medicine men; uncovering the rites and rituals of these ancient orders and illuminating some of their extraordinary mythologies.

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    The ongoing success of the Plant Journal has re-engaged readers with the botanical world through an art and design lens; now a new book plans to take this exploration even further.

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    Food passages in books have always been some of my favourites in terms of creating flavoursome texture and setting a scene. There’s something so delicious about reading what your favourite characters are eating and drinking, and food descriptions really bring a setting alive. That chowder scene in Moby Dick has remained in my mind as being one of the cosiest and scrumptiously rustic meals, and all of my winter soups aspire to Melville’s hearty description.

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    I’m loathe to use the term “coffee table book” for a publication which seems to demand to be read anywhere and everywhere, rather than sitting untouched next to a selection of coasters. Still, the new tome by photographer Kenny Braun necessitates it; Surf Texas is a book so good that you’ll be desperate to keep it where it can be seen by anyone who might be passing idly through your living room.

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    There’s no end to illustration projects that revolve around the observation of daily life – in fact that’s the main skill an illustrator needs to possess in order to communicate visually. And yet there’s surprisingly few that result in work as lovingly scathing as Grace Wilson’s. Her latest publication Eyes Peeled details the trials and tribulations of studying abroad, travelling the world and returning home to mundane conversations with parents huddled around pints in a pub.