Publication Archive

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    There must be something in the water at the moment, because the amount of super sexy magazines unashamedly taking otherwise “ssshhh”-ed topics and placing them on double page spreads is eye-widening. Not many, on the other hand, are doing it as well as Folch Studio continue to.

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    This is exciting. If, like me, you’ve always fantasised about what the inside of issue 1 of i-D magazine looks like, and your wallet does not allow you to buy one off eBay then THIS IS FOR YOU. Since the new i-D site was unveiled a few weeks back by proud new owners Vice it has been providing the art and design and fashion community with the publication’s extensive archive of colourful, wild fashion content from the biggest names in the industry.

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    The elderly don’t really get enough credit from us young upstarts. For some reason we forget that they ran the world perfectly well before we were even born – probably even better than our generation ever will – so we should sit down, shut up and listen to the wisdom that flows from their geriatric lips. Better still we should all spend time with our grandparents and record their biographies for posterity just in case all that worldly wisdom is lost to history.

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    Just over a year on from his debut comics anthology, Joe Kessler is back with the second edition of Windowpane, another surreal foray into a world of sexual exploration, existential crisis and the speed-carving of chess pieces. Just like last time Joe’s been generous with the number of stories on offer and the richness of imagery too; you’re as likely to get lost in the detail of each panel as you are in the overall narratives.

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    On a school trip to a show dedicated to the work of Tomi Ungerer, Philippe Apeloig remembers being thrilled by poster showing an elephant from behind, dipping its trunk into a tin of green paint. From that simple starting point we can trace the development of a designer who went onto produce an extraordinary body of work; who worked for the Musée d’Orsay producing posters for their exhibitions, studied under Wim Crouwel at Total Design and now ranks as one of the most interesting and important graphic designers working today.

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    “This booklet explores visual and conceptual analogies between ice-cream and geology” begins the latest instalment in Studio Fludd’s Ephemera & Miscellanea series, this one entitled Gelatology. And woe betide any naive so-and-so ready to argue that everybody’s favourite sweet frozen snack has nothing in common with the geological composition of the earth; Fludd’s delightful project is ready and raring to prove you wrong with their mouth-watering collection of riso-printed illustrations, mixed-media images and flashes of candy pink and blue.

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    Legendary designer Neville Brody has often stated that he would use his presidency of D&AD to focus on promoting up-and-coming talent. Of course talking the talk is all well and good, but Neville has made good on his promises, not least in his selection of the designer for the organisation’s 51st Annual. Eschewing big, established names, Neville instead plumped for Fleur Isbell, a recent member of the D&AD Graduate Academy now at Wolff Olins.

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    Blackpool has a certain place in the British psyche that is probably quite mystifying to outsiders, The seaside town is associated with a very particular type of UK holiday experience; smutty but silly, sleazy but in a charming way. It has nostalgic connotations of the resort golden age but also a contemporary cache too, a hedonistic enclave in an increasingly homogenised country.

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    Increasingly graphic design is evolving from a creative service industry into something more conceptually motivated. Artists have appropriated the vernacular of the designer and used it outside of the context of clear communication to provoke critical thought from the viewer, challenging them with their arrangement of symbols on paper instead of aiding them with it. When tis type of design lacks a concept entirely we drift into the world of graphic design as trend but in the case of Lauren Thorson these beautful abstract works are driven by process and data instead of pure aesthetics.

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    We’re very late in the day introducing you to this particular project, but with the Sochi Olympics very much on the horizon we’re prepared to make a concession. Dutch photographer Rob Hornstra has been documenting the sub-tropical region of Sochi in Russia since 2009, after it was named as the 2014 Winter Olympic host city. His interest in the area is born from a long and complicated history of political and military unrest and the ongoing insurgency hanging over from the Second Chechen War.

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    If you’re after a book about UK garage with an intro by Mike Skinner entitled ‘Brandy & Coke’ – then this baby pink banger of a publication is the one for you. It’s a compilation of images by subculture snapper Ewen Spencer who, after graduating Brighton in 1997, went on to document UK music in all its glory.

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    You’d be forgiven for assuming that designer Darius Ou Dahao was much older and more established than his tender age suggests. We first featured him in May, when his unusual and brilliantly executed identity for Singapore’s Qian Hu Fish Farm won him much coveted spot as one of our students of the month. He’s back now with two publications to follow up that first corker of a project; one entitled The Atlas of Singapore Arowanas which will tell you everything you ever dreamt of knowing about those fishy fellows and their hangouts, and the other, The Qian Hu Aquarium Guide which is just what its name suggests.

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    Ever-innovative Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin have just launched their annual art special which sees the Glaswegian master of silliness David Shrigley follow in the likes of Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer and Anselm Kiefer.

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    Could somebody pass me my exciting new magazine klaxon because new title Riposte has landed and it looks like a bobby-dazzler (maybe betty-dazzler?). Billed as “a smart magazine for women,”it’s the brainchild of KK outlet curator and longtime friend of It’s Nice That Danielle Pender. Several months in the offing, it’s now finally dropped like a really phat beat in a ruddy good dance song (simile for the kids there) and lo and behold it was certainly worth the wait.

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    In his work for Bloomberg Businessweek designer and art director Richard Turley has long been feted for his interesting and unusual graphic treatments. But when it came to commissioning the cover for the new American Illustration Annual Richard decided that the best thing he could do was print it as a plan white affair and then: “get loads of artists, illustrators and designers to hand draw paint, print, scribble and generally deface and generally violate the books.”

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    If Little White Lies were a clichéd male it’d be trading in its five-door hatchback for a Harley, trying on a lot of leather jackets and giving more than a passing thought to a fling with a co-worker/secretary. But rather than doing anything tragic to celebrate its 50th, our favourite movie mag has released a bumper issue that takes us through the very finest films of the last half-century and are running a weekend takeover at the ICA in December – a much better way to celebrate mid-life than an office affair!

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    That fashion photographers often have favourite models to work with is no secret, but it’s not so common that they pay tribute to them with a beautifully designed 200 page tome by mammoth publishing house Rizzoli, and then plonk their names on the cover. But then Craig McDean has always been an exception.

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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…).