Blæti magazine takes its name from the Icelandic word for fetish. In turn, each of the features in the magazine visualise the parts of life its founders can’t get enough of: “beauty, fashion, women, men, the imperfect, our bodies, our hopes, expectations, aesthetics, sorrow, love, loss, memories, desire, and so much more.”
In making a publication about the stuff they really love the Blæti team, made up of designer Helga Dögg, Icelandic photographer Saga Sigurðardóttir and Reykjavik-based stylist Erna Bergmann, speak about making the magazine with an infectious passion. Across its features written in Icelandic and including both poetry and prose, the creatively-led team are making a magazine “where the visual aspect becomes interlaced with the written word,” designer Helga tells It’s Nice That.
Articles on new Icelandic creative talent leads the content of an issue of Blæti. Text is applied heavily and indulged in, even including a 100-page section of just the written word, “which is my favourite part of the magazine where we feature new works from our favourite writers, poets and thinkers,” explains the designer.
Due to text forming such a large part of each issue, Helga’s typography choice was the first major decision to make when implementing Blæti’s initial design structure. “I really wanted to use a proven, classic typeface instead of something that was merely hip at the moment,” she explains. The designer played it safe and chose her “favourite font of all time” Akzidenz Grotesk, and Garamond to pair it with. These typefaces were then applied in quite a traditional sense for such a forward thinking publication, but take inspiration from “old Icelandic print works such as Skírner,” says Helga. “100-year-old books and periodicals about poetry and academia. I love these old books with their ancient paper, delicate illustrations and typography.” As a result Blæti’s design merges the two worlds that inhabit Iceland adding “a very romantic feeling to the magazine as a counterpart to the sometimes edgy and loud fashion photos”.
Another of Helga’s design loves which has crept its way into the magazine is borders. As simple as it may sound, the designer’s intricate use of structure is one she describes as an obsession, “so of course I used those liberally,” and upon flicking through an issue you can’t imagine the magazine without a box surrounding the edge of it.
Recently releasing its second issue, for which Helga praises the efforts of her interns Emma Theadórsdóttir and Sævar Steinn Guðmundsson “who filled me with energy and gave this issue a better life,” Blæti is settling in as a staple on magazine shelves. As the publication continues to delve deep into topics and emotions its founders love, we can only see its fanbase growing with readers who are just as enthusiastic as they are.
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