Publication Archive

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    Among the plethora of independent erotic titles all shimmying for our attention on the newsstands, Odiseo is one that shimmies a little more seductively. Not only has it adopted an altogether more sophisticated case-bound format, it’s constantly seeking to reevaluate what an erotic title should be. Like the golden age of Playboy each issue is packed with great imagery as well as inventive and engaging writing – something often left as an afterthought in new titles.

  2. Varon-list

    This year we spent a good amount of time fawning over a certain shoot by Anna Victoria Best in which she photographed the well-dressed feet of dancers as they scuffed up a well-worn dance floor. That shoot was for Varon, a beautiful piece of print that graces the newsstands biannually and offers a high-contrast, monochromatic glimpse into a more daring side of menswear. If you can believe it, the magazine is now up to its ninth issue, and is now designed by London-based creative Claude d’Avoine. On the mag’s purely black and white aesthetic, Claude says that the magazine is “shot with honest content, encompassing a mix of edgy and classic points of view. The design reflects the honesty in every page. There is no hierarchy between the stories, the idea is that the magazine itself flows consistently from beginning to end.”

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    There are coffee table books, and then there are huge, fantastic publications so weighty that they’re likely to shunt your table a couple of inches closer to the floor, as in the case of this staggering beauty by TASCHEN. The Rolling Stones is a 518-page testament to the incredible wealth of photographs that have been taken of the iconic band over the course of their 50 year career, and it’s breathtaking.

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    As far as guilty pleasures go, this is the gift that keeps on giving. A weighty, velvety publication that flops around seductively in your arms, Mirage No.4 is the lovechild of Frank Rocholl and Henrik Purienne. Focusing on “Fashion, Swimwear and Jetset Hedonism,” the magazine aims to document the more beautiful things in life: girls, sunshine, architecture, vintage cars, sportsmen and the 1970s.

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    David Shrigley’s got a whopper of a new book out entitled Weak Messages Create Bad Situations. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, at this time of year, when you look back at those annual round-ups and “photographs that sum up 2014” it can be easy to feel like the world is just so full of disaster and crap. It seems that the people running this planet have been giving us weak, nay wrong messages this whole time! How mean. And what have they created? A bad situation. We love David’s new book, which totally sums up the feeling of helplessly skidding downhill on a bicycle with no brakes towards a cliff. Here he is on the book, dreams, and the world in general.

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    When Andrew Diprose has a new issue of The Ride in his hands he talks quickly and excitedly, about the contributors, collaborators and stories he’s uncovered; about his continuing evolution of the journal’s design and about the big plans he’s got once the first ten issues are in the bag. His enthusiasm for this magnificent side-project is infectious. But that’s understandable when you get into the meat of the thing, because all his contributors share that same enthusiasm.

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    There’s a lot of joy at It’s Nice That HQ when our favourite illustrators hit the big time. When Aisha Franz had her latest graphic novel Earthling published by Drawn and Quarterly, it was once again time for celebration. Earthling is the story of an all-female family (two sisters and a mother) who each retreat into imaginary fantasy worlds in order to escape the mundanity and struggle of ordinary life. That makes it sound quite heavy going – but it’s not. It’s full of dark humour, sex and hilarious snippets of perilous teenage life that you’ll be glad are far, far behind you. Also, we’re so used to Aisha’s work being so brightly coloured that this book – drawn entirely in scribbled pencil – is a very interesting new venture for her, one that I personally am a big fan of. Anyone you know who’s into the witty, sarcastic humour of Daniel Clowes’ Ghost World definitely needs to get their hands on this.

  8. New-list

    Jay Cover is one third of the Nous Vous gang; one of three cogs in their art and design machine; the back left wheel on the creative tricycle; the front leg of their three-legged illustration stool. Speaking of stools (seamless!) he’s just finished work on Flat, an illustrated book that pays homage to iconic pieces of furniture design by the likes of Johanna Dehio, Martino Gamper, Gonçalo Campos and Studio Gorm. Fret not though, it’s much more exciting than that sounds! There are bears, sloths and toucans horsing around among the exquisitely-crafted tables and chairs and a cast of characters interacting with them in the most unusual ways – the staring contest between a parrot and a man in a green jumper is perhaps my favourite. All told it’s a lovely bit of printed matter, Risographed and published by Hato Press and now available to buy in their shop. Very tasty indeed!

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    How many times have photographers and writers ventured into the studios of artists to document well-used tools and paint-spattered chairs? About a billion, or maybe more. FINALLY us muggins over here, writing words all day and wearing our fingertips down on white keys (not of the piano variety) are getting a moment of the limelight via Matteo Pericoli’s beautiful new book, Windows on the World.

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    In the beginning, before Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman, there was BUTT magazine. The brainchild of Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom, whose aforementioned titles are among the world’s most admired printed publications, BUTT was a lo-fi phenomenon. It described itself in a now famous tagline as an “INTERNATIONAL FAGGOT MAGAZINE FOR INTERESTING HOMOSEXUALS AND THE MEN WHO LOVE THEM.” For writer Paul Flynn, it was a magazine about “gay sex, art and fashion you believe in.”

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    We love Miranda July so much that, to be honest, even if she stuck some glitter on an empty stick of deodorant we’d still post about it. Luckily she’s much more talented than that and every project she puts out into the world is something to stop and stare at, if only for a little bit. Her latest piece comes in the form of a novel entitled The First Bad Man, already lauded by similar creators such as Lena Dunham, who says of the book: “Never has a novel spoken so deeply to my sexuality, my spirituality, my secret self. I know I am not alone.”

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    “BUT HOW ARE THEY GOING TO RAISE THE BAR NEXT TIME?” we asked each other melodramatically when we opened issue #5 of WAX magazine earlier this summer, dazzled by its fluorescent cover, diverse content and feature about Hans Ulrich Obrist catching waves (yeah!). But to our joy and amazement they’ve done it with issue #6, which we can announce might be even better than the last one. Based on the theme of Secrecy, the sixth incarnation of WAX features musicians Connan Mockasin and Tim Koh, Ariel Pink’s bassist, fashion photography shot by Luke and Nik, artist Amy Yao interviewed by Drew Heitzler, and mystical essays by some of the best writers around. Above and beyond all that, this issue takes water (key to surfing, I’ve heard) and puts in pride of place on a gorgeous silvery cover shot by Pierre Vanni. Never before have I felt so inclined to take to the waves in December’s icy temperatures.

  13. List

    Some loved it, some hated it, some despairingly suggested that a very talented female designer was selling herself short by letting a pop-psychological dating “experiment” overshadow her superb graphics skills. Whatever you thought, though, Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman’s 40 Days of Dating project certainly got people talking.

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    “Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects..the quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.” Charles Eames’ quotation opens this impressive book designed by Annahita Kamali and Florian Böhm for Vitra, an (almost) entirely visual celebration of the legendary designer though an intriguing selection of images. It’s a curious publication but one that really works, with each image connecting to the next in sometimes extremely subtle ways. As Eckhart Nickel writes in the book’s introductory essay: “We are transported by little, precious elements in every image that correspond to a detail in the next one, creating a kind of hide-and-seek for the traces that design leaves in our life and the ones life leaves in design.”

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    We had the pleasure of meeting up with photographer Adrià Cañameras in Barcelona at the beginning of the year, when he was excitedly telling us about a collection of photographs entitled Anna et Salomé that he was hoping to publish in book form. Now, almost four seasons down the line, the book has just been published by Lawson’s Books and we can confirm that it’s as much of a treat as we’d anticipated. Collating a selection of images taken by Adrià at different places around the Mediterranean, the book makes reference to his French and Spanish heritage in the form of a serene, considered ode to the summer. With commissions under his belt for Apartamento, Dazed Magazine and the New York Times already, Anna et Salomé is a calm counterpart to much of Adriàs portfolio. We’re looking forward to seeing what he does next.

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    A late contender for my favourite editor’s letter opening line of the year comes courtesy of the new issue of Human Being Journal, the magazine produced by US-based clothing and lifestyle store Need Supply Co.

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    I make no bones about being a die-hard fan of German publishing house Lubok Verlag. Their luxurious block-printed publications have my unconditional admiration for their wonderful tactility, skilful printing and beautiful content. Right now though, they’ve surpassed their own high standards, having just released two new books by a couple of my favourite artists.

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    New York based studio Open is being faithful to its name, launching a book that shows us all how it works, what it does and why it does it. The book, named Design for People, is written by Open founder Scott Stowell and his team, with the noble aim to “democratise design” by running over graphic design and branding case studies in a way Scott reckons “everyone can understand.”

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    Back in August, Thames & Hudson published Collector’s Edition, a stunning book collecting collector’s editions of music and literature releases. Now, to continue the rather meta trajectory of the original, the book’s author and creative director, Stuart Tolley, founder and director at creative agency Transmission, has released a collector’s edition of Collector’s Edition in the form of an “artist cover bomb” series, which has seen ten artists whose work appears in the book decorate a copy, and which will be sold in an online auction to raise funds for The Alzheimer’s Society. He talks us through the “very loose” brief he set the participants, and how it felt for him to have the likes of Paul McCartney and Nick Cave decorating a book he created.

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    French illustrator Anne Simon first came to our attention this time last year when she teamed up with psychoanalyst Corinne Maier to bring us an informative, witty and thoroughly charming graphic guide to Freud. She’s back, to our delight, with a new and somewhat more sinister tale, Cixtite Impératrice which is no less brilliant.

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    Identity is a hot topic these days especially with social media adding to the frenzy and completely blurring the lines between who you are and how you want to be seen. So Ricardo Ferrol and Johannes Bauer’s book created for their bachelor’s thesis while studying at Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd in Germany and is a refreshing take on what identity means.

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    We often talk about the difficult second album at It’s Nice That, the problem being that when you pour every ounce of passion you have into version zero of a new project it can be tricky to replicate this energy the second time around. Rather than falling into that old trap though, the creators of art and commerce focused publication Noon appear to have taken a great leap over it. Following up from the first issue of which we made no secret of fawning over last time around they’ve somehow found time to sit back, regroup and then set out to create something even more impressive with issue two. Safe to say, it’s quite something to behold.

  23. List

    It’s been five months since Airbnb unveiled its shiny new brand identity and Belo logomark; five months since the internet went berserk with genitalia-inspired interpretations of DesignStudio’s stylised letter A. Needless to say in those five months the furore surrounding the brand has died down somewhat and the longevity of their new aesthetic has become clearer. Despite the initial fuss it looks like they’re still going strong.

  24. List-2

    “Hello, my name is Benjamin, but friends call me Benji,” begins the editor’s letter in the first edition of Benji Knewman, a new printed publication with the tagline “life that you can read.” Benji Knewman’s tone is so warm and inviting and tinged with the accent of its native Latvia that we can’t decide whether Benji’s a real life contributor (he’s listed as editor-at-large on the masthead) or a fictional construct created to lure us in. If it’s the former, we apologise for doubting you Benji, but if it’s the latter, it’s working marvellously.

  25. List

    Kids are weird. Granted I say this as a 30-year-old man with no children, no nieces and nephews and no godchildren, but in the limited dealings I have had with babies and toddlers and whatever you call those ones that are older than toddlers, they are all pretty bizarre. Artist and longtime friend of the site Lenka Clayton has confirmed my suspicions with her project called 63 Objects Taken From My Son’s Mouth..

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    Marrying a playful typographic approach, sensitive illustrations and deliciously tactile gold foil, the cover of The Recorder is a great indication of its contents: a beautifully designed ode to typography and its omnipresence.

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    There were poignant scenes in Berlin yesterday when the city marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the wide-ranging ramifications it had for the city, the country and indeed the world. Unsurprisingly such an historic milestone inspired various creative projects, from the terrific 8,000 balloon installation which ran the length of the old wall to Airbnb’s animation about reunification and remembering.

  28. List

    As the chilly nights of winter draw in, the sun-kissed samba fantasy that was this summer’s World Cup in Brazil seems lightyears ago. Creative projects inspired by the tournament were as prolific as the German team’s strikers, but it’s always nice to see something a little different, such as this lovely Brasil 2014 publication from the excellent Neil Bedford. Neil was at the tournament as part of a collaboration between Visa and our pals at The Green Soccer Journal but this booklet seems to include those pictures which weren’t used as part of that campaign. There’s wit and passion and pride and intensity throughout the images and an extraordinary shot of an Argentine supporter seemingly walking into the waves.

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    “It’s my magazine and I’ll photograph it in a hydrangea bush if I want to” I imagine editors Bertrand Trichet and Olivier Talbot singing as they snapped away. And why not? The brand new third issue of surfing magazine Acid is fluorescent pink, so it looks perfectly at home against some nice botany.

  30. List

    A year ago Darren Wall’s new games publishers Read-Only Memory released its first book charting the history of Sensible Software, a company whose creations defined many of our childhoods and teenage years.

  31. List

    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.

  34. List-kurt

    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!

  37. List

    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.