Publication Archive

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    I think I’m quite funny. Most people think they’re quite funny. But there’s a cavernous leap between making your mates titter in the pub with that Sea World anecdote and being funny every day, making a living out of being funny and having to be funny to a deadline. That’s why my respect for cartoonists is so high, and some of the best are collected together in this brilliant new book, Private Eye: A Cartoon History.

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    Did you ever see a copy of Mould Map 2? That glossy, odd-sized publication blew my little brains out when it popped into my life back in 2011. Unexpected colours, comics like you’ve never seen before and some of the weirdest story lines you’ll maybe ever see adorn it’s fat, juicy pages, probably because it’s pretty much the Who’s Who of young, lo-fi cartoonists and illustrators working today.

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    Many people will be familiar with Rob Ryan’s work with his whimsical paper-cuts and charming single-scene narratives much-heralded over the years. But with his new book The Invisible Kingdom – the first in a trilogy– Rob is breaking new ground in terms of the scope and ambition of his practice.

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    When it comes to editorial design in the newspaper world, The Guardian’s overhaul overseen by Mark Porter tends to be the most talked about example. But that may change in light of the new look for The Independent which was unveiled today. With top talent Matt Willey working alongside the paper’s in-house design team, the new design sees the masthead move to run vertically up the left-hand side, stripped-back layouts and new type treatments.

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    The role of big names in the art world has been a point of contention for some time; in particular how the process of engaging with art is affected by us knowing who is behind it. Explorations into this thorny issue have been particularly prevalent at London’s Royal College of Art through both the Secret Postcard show and now, the welcome return of Monika magazine.

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    I really like it when creatives from foreign climes get in touch to say they’re in London and fancy shooting the breeze; so it was that last Friday I sat down with Sascha Rust to discuss his new food magazine Scrag End. The new title is the brainchild of two Melbourne-based brothers; Sashca a trained chef and Björn a graphic designer. The proliferation of foodie magazines means it takes something pretty special to stand out from the crowd but from the sleek, understated design to the genuinely engaging content this is a publication you want to spend some quality time with. I actually learned a lot reading it too, whether that was about the state of the Australian seafood scene or the problem of “arrogant specialty coffee barristas.” This is the first ever issue and they’ve set a high standard for themselves, let’s hope there’s more where this came from.

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    Apart from giving the early morning dancers of the 90s something to dance along to while they gnawed their own faces off, Massive Attack also had a super-big impact on the art world. This hefty (400 page) new publication produced by the Vinyl Factory documents the visual history of the band through the artwork of Massive Attack founder, Robert del Naja. Robert’s artwork and time spent with notorious Bristol art collective and sound system The Wild Bunch was a stepping stone in 90s counter-culture, and to see his importance reflected in such an enthralling book is a true honour. Typically, The Vinyl Factory have also released a special version of this book which is kind of a must-have for any Massive Attack fan, or even anyone who was in their early 20s in the 90s and can actually remember it.

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    Sometimes when we receive books in the studio they’re titles we’ve requested, or at least ones about which we have heard on the grapevine. But there is a third category; books that arrive out the blue and tickle our fancy through their complete randomness. So its as with The Granny Alphabet, a new book from iconic fashion photographer Tim Walker (and purveyor of one of the best exhibitions of the past 12 months).

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    At last! For those looking for more from fluffy felines, a publication to cater to you! We’ve had cat cafés, brides throwing cats instead of bouquets and cats doing funny/cute/weird things in every corner of the internet; assistant editor James even wrote an opinion piece debating whether cat blogs will one day represent the legacy of internet culture. So it’s probably high time we had a magazine about the people who love them, right?

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    When a book is described as “The enchainment of science fiction, supernatural effects, magical oriental rituals and mythological figures” and “somewhere between 19th century book illustration and persian miniatures, seen through the eyes of a contemporary,” you can almost guarantee it’s going to be an absolute banger. In this new Nieves publication by Edouard Baribeaud, whose sketchbooks we featured on the site a few weeks back, we travel to distant lands where the smokey mountains are made of speckles and the wild, natural environment is formed of a two colour risograph. What a dream. One for the Christmas list.

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    The 12-year relationship between Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg is one of the most well-documented in modern history, both through their musical collaborations, film projects and constant presence in the public eye. Though plenty of images of the couple have been published there’s a vast archive that have never been seen before. Taken by Jane’s brother Andrew, Jane and Serge. A Family Album brings together over 1,000 of his personal photographs of the couple and their young family spending time in cafés drawing pictures of each other, or at home playing with their rabbits. It’s a pretty grounding portrait of a couple who so often courted controversy and aroused public attention.

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    I was lucky enough to meet the irrepressible Cathy Olmedillas, founder of Anorak magazine at MagCulture’s Modern Magazine conference recently. The quarterly kids’ mag has gone from strength to strength ever since Cathy – formerly of The Face and Sleazenation – set it up seven years ago and it’s not hard to see why when you hear her passion for the title first-hand. She used her speech at The Modern Magazine to announce the launch of Teepee, a new title for teenagers, but as well as looking to the future, the Anorak team are also revelling in the past seven years of success with the publication of this brilliant behemoth of a book.

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    Books don’t come much more beautiful than a French, screen-printed publication about a tiny Japanese man and his adventures through the mystic, marigold-coloured world. This very special tome is the latest work of Icinori, a French publishing house who slowly churn out some of the most wonderfully made books we’ve ever laid our eyes upon. Personally, I think it’s safe to say this story of the Japanese equivalent of Tom Thumb is their best work yet, full of dream-like spreads depicting Issun Boshi hopping over lush vegetation and running through bustling markets of be-robed Japanese men and women. Informative, endearing and almost impossibly easy on the eye, this is a publication you’re going to have to be quick to snap up.

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    It was back in July that we first heard about intern magazine, a publication showcasing the best talent from this significant strata of the creative world pitched straight into what is an increasingly heated debate about these kinds of placements. From a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to huge press attention, Alec Dudson and his team clearly hit a nerve, and now we’ve seen the first issue we can confirm that they’ve executed their idea with real skill.

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    I’ve sung the praises of brilliant website Spitalfields Life before. Through its fantastic imagery and elegant writing, the blog celebrates London both as it was and as it is now, with no pejorative lens on either. Now the site’s enigmatic creator The Gentle Author has brought together some of the best of the site’s visual treasures in his new book The Gentle Author’s London Album.

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    “What does America taste like?” is the burning culinary question posed by Phaidon’s new title, Taste of America. Well, by the looks of things it’s all cured meats, thick, rich seafood dishes, various combinations of nuts, caramel and chocolate and dried cereals – which quite frankly everyone who’s been across the pond knows you can’t beat. In fact a few of us are recently returned from the US and have the bellies to prove it. Still, despite its intentions there are no flavours to be found in Colman Andrews’ book, (you can’t taste a damn thing!) but there are wonderfully nostalgic accounts of the author’s favourite food stuffs, histories of some of America’s best-loved brands and 125 sensational illustrations.

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    I’ve spent the best part of my early adolescent years bemoaning the departure of Smash Hits magazine from newsagents’ shelves nationwide. Sure, there was NME for my indie years, Rock Sound to cater to my brief but potent grunge phase and I think I bought an issue of Q once to impress my year ten boyfriend, but nobody does it like Smash Hits did. I went nuts for those pull out posters of J-Timbs in the ‘N Sync era. I gazed dreamily at them whilst reciting the Sean Paul lyrics I’d learnt from the centre spread to impress all my friends with in the playground.

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    For a studio whose serious design pedigree we’ve long admired, we were delighted to hear that Barcelona-based Folch are bringing out their own publication. Eldorado is described as “an editorial venture” in its promotional material and promises to take a different experience per issue based around “the observation of context.” The first one entitled Surf Morocco is a celebration of this sublimely aesthetic sport and Albert Folch sums up the ethos of the new magazine by saying "We’re not talking about a place but a sense of sensations you feel. " The task of communicating those sensations falls to photographer by Dizzy Dias and illustrator Angela Palacios and it looks they’ve pulled it off in some style; the short promo video below is also a thing of real beauty. Nice one Folch fellas!

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    “Art is not always things created by people who call themselves artists,” said writer Barry Schwabsky, an observation that sums up an interesting new book from Phaidon. As shifting cultural, social and technological contexts change the way we look at art and how we define what is or isn’t worthy of this appellation, authors David Carrier and Joachim Pissarro have put together a collection of work that explores this brave new world. It’s a celebration of the kind of imagery which blows up the blogosphere but which wouldn’t normally trouble the so-called art establishment.

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    Look, we all love Wes Anderson films, no one likes them more than somebody else it’s just a universal appreciation in a similar vein to popcorn or oxygen. With that in mind, this is the kind of publication for which the world’s been waiting for years, an in-depth, affectionate look at one of the world’s most infamous and consistently brilliant yet mysterious directors.

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    It’s rare that I get to write about a book that I’ve just ordered with my own cash money. Usually kind people send us all the comics and design books we could ever dream of to read and review, but I couldn’t take the gamble that Simon Hanselmann’s latest offering might sell out before I got a chance to see it, or that I’d have to shelve it in the office archive for good. So it’s on the pre-order and when it arrives I’ll set aside a weekend afternoon to read it from cover to cover, because Megg and Mogg deserve my undivided attention while they drop acid in their grubby little flat and throw up on each other. My GOD I’m excited!

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    What do you get when a comic book artist and psychoanalyst join forces for the greater creative good? (This isn’t a joke by the way.) You get a bloody brilliant graphic novel about Sigmund Freud, the most respected, revered psychoanalyst in the history of the discipline. Freud is a graphic novel written by economist, historian and psychoanalyst Corinne Maier with visuals provided by Anne Simon, one of France’s finest young cartoonists. The book strikes a fine balance between informative storytelling, charming imagery and witty dialogue to the point that even if you find psychoanalysis abhorrent, comic books a waste of time and Freud the greatest charlatan of the twentieth century you’ll be hard pushed not to crease your lips in wry amusement. Check it out! Education and entertainment rarely come in the same beautiful package.

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    There are many great things about the latest issue of Gratuitous Type, Elana Schlenker’s gorgeous printed publication celebrating this geekiest corner of the graphics world. The third instalment is the first based around a theme; kicking off with colour (or “color” as the Canadian publishers insist on having it…).

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    There must be something in the chilly October air because another day, another sumptuous book of astonishing graphics for us to pore over. William W. Crouse (always a fan of the middle initial used Samuel L. Jackson style) is a long-time poster collector particularly drawn to the Art Deco heyday of the interwar years, when post war optimism and technological advancement crested in an age of optimism, before it receded, giving way to a crippling economic depression and eventually another war.

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    In the Venn diagram of art and graphic design, Marian Bantjes has more reason than most to be placed smack in the middle of the all-important overlap. The Canadian’s intricate, unashamedly maximalist work sits proudly at the intersection of these sometimes uncomfortable bedfellows and her new monograph is a terrific celebration of what Rick Poynor in the book’s introduction calls her “explosive graphic invention.”

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    I’d love an alter ego; a character I could slip onto at the drop of a hat to fulfil creative and/or crime-fighting ambitions. Rob Lowe has a great creative alter ego as Supermundane (although I can’t vouch for his crime-fighting credentials) and he has just launched a brand spanking new website bringing together his terrific portfolio.

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    We’re always keen to see new publications and similarly we always take an interest in existing titles undergoing redesigns, but it’s rarer to see an established print brand producing a new product. But that’s exactly what Esquire did earlier this year when they launched The Big Black Book subtitled “The Style Manual For Successful Men.” With its big, bold typographic covers and slick stylish layouts it turned heads as soon as the inaugural issue landed in the studio. With the second one recently out, we decided it was the perfect time to catch up with Esquire creative director David McKendrick to find out more about the project.

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    It’s hard to resist the charms of a small independent company who have a firm grasp on their craft and Jane & Jeremy, a South London based studio who publish the work of their favourite upcoming and established creatives, are a perfect example.

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    It was just over a year ago that we joined the Kickstarter clamour to make Darren Wall’s history of iconic computer game developers Sensible Software a reality. We were delighted when Darren duly hit his target and excited to see the finished product, which dropped through our letterbox this week. And praise the heavens; Sensible Software 1986-1999 is a ruddy triumph.

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    A couple of weeks ago over on Creative Review, Jim Sutherland wrote a really interesting post about designers’ predilection for making children’s books. He suggested it was a way to let one’s visual imagination run wild in contrast with the daily grist of tightly prescribed identity work.

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    If you ever paused the video player at the bit where they show Cecilia Lisbon’s diary in The Virgin Suicides, or if you ever slept over at someone’s house with a belly full of Doritos, muffling laughter into a Care Bears pillow, or really if the dice of fate were rolled in your favour and you were born a girl then this book is for YOU. The second in a hopefully infinite series, this publication is the annual “best-of” from Tavi Gevinson’s hugely successful online magazine,Rookie.

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    I distinctly remember being absolutely horrified when first learning the alphabet, that “M” (for Maisie) was represented in Letterland by “Munching Mike”, who not only had a boy’s name, but was also a giant, mechanical monster who ate a lot. Naturally, I wanted to be “Talking Tess”. Alas, I didn’t have the very talented and super nice Anna Kövecses to create my very own alphabet book, customised so that each letter corresponded to something I liked.

    It’s a beautiful book, too. Designed and illustrated by Anna as a personal project to teach a four year old girl the 44 letters of the Hungarian alphabet on her summer holiday, it boasts a whole selection of sumptuous illustrations, in the kinds of colours which recall years at primary school as seen through a haze of warm nostalgia. Characters and landscapes alike are illustrated with bucket-loads of charm. Now then, to learning Hungarian…

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    This is Fantastic Man‘s naughty cousin, and he’s got a really fast car. But then, it’s not really surprising that the brainchild of Henrik Purienne, Rocholl and Neira Zahirovic is a weighty tome hiding some of the most beautiful and exciting objects and people who grace the earth. Mirage is a magazine that celebrates wild beauty and carefree hedonism through jaw dropping photography. Be it a car, a certain beach, a band or a muse, this is an archive of hedonism that fully encourages jetsetting, sunbathing, drinking, splurging cash and partying all night.

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    Everyone’s talking about going to visit Mars now that the option is now sort of available. To be honest, there are actually some people I would happily wave off as they careered off to an uninhabitable planet that can be up to 250 million miles away. For those of us who prefer a simple life on watery, flowery earth, here is a truly exciting book to be released this year by Aperture.

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    Weirdly (because we’re green-fingered and like well-designed things) we’ve never featured Wilder Quarterly before and it’s already seven issues into its career. The premise is a simple one; take strolls around the gardens of the rich and famous, break bread with cutting edge chefs and drink fine liquors from the cellars of organic distilleries. Not for you? Well there’s recipes, entire features dedicated to wild mushrooms and the constant pursuit of the great outdoors in there too, so it’s both practical AND entertaining. Get hold of one and have a look for yourself.

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    Hooray for small press! Huzzah! Here’s a really super new issue of Library Paper, the opening party of which was held a few weeks back in the HQ of trendy clothes-curators Goodhood. A lot of magazines don’t get past issue one these days due to nasty things such as the economy and internet, so it’s encouraging to see something as fantastic as this make it to a whopping three issues with no sign of stopping. Perhaps it’s something to do with the incredible contents which, in this issue, includes work by Hort, HelloMe, Raphael Garnier, Bureau Mirko Borsche and many, many more. Grab yourself a copy on their site now before they go!

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    It was almost 12 months ago that we hailed Australian graphic design magazine Process Journal and so it was with great interest we received news that Issue Nine represented a complete re-design. In order to live up to its ambition to be a journal rather than a magazine each issue will now be themed and they’ve stripped back the number of features as well to provide more insight on their chosen subjects.

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    It’s a kind-of-funny and actually-quite-scary universal truth that modern society has become so desensitised to the appropriation of sexuality to endorse products that we scarcely even notice the scantilly-clad women excitedly clutching utensils in homeware ads anymore, not to mention commercials about bare-chested blokes driving enormous cars which seem to run on testosterone instead of fuel. Having sat back and observed the same sexually-charged undertones in advertising in mainstream lesbian magazines, queer arts and culture publication Muff Magazine decided it was high time somebody spoke up about the massive vibrating elephant in the room.

    The result? Creative director Bukanova and photographer Emma Ercolani teamed up to shoot Toy Story, an ironic take on this very idea, and a marvellous job they’ve done too! The shoot is a tongue in cheek parody of the eroticism which lies at every turn in contemporary culture, gently mocking the advertising industry without bringing it to its (carpet-burned) knees. Plus, it’s super funny. I’ll be damned if you can differentiate between the vibrator and the aubergine without a second glance.

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    It’s hard to process just how good this collaborative project between painter Elizabeth Peyton and joy-bringing publishing house Nieves is. Peyton has carved out a very comfortable niche for herself in the art world, with stark, romantic paintings of iconic figures of pop culture. Her works suggest late nights, frank discussions and hedonistic lifestyles of the kind of people that have fantastic dance moves and record collections as big as their drinking habits. Cool people. So with her work plus a generous spoonful of sincere loveliness on Nieves’ part, this publication is pretty much the best thing you can get your hands on in the world today. The book, entitled The Age of Innocence is a homage to Edith Wharton’s novel of the same name, and a reminder that whatever era you reside in there will always be love, and kissing.

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    It seems fitting that graphic designer FHK Henrion was born in 1914, the same year that war broke out between the two countries that would come to define his life. The German born creative moved to the UK in 1936 after a stint as a textile designer in Paris and initially found commercial success as a poster artist, but he also excelled in product, exhibition, publication, jewellery and interior design.