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Work / Publication

Elana Schlenker launches Gratuitous Type 4.5, a new breed of half issues for the mag

Gratuitous Type is a magazine which celebrates typography and graphic design in a slew of glorious layouts and beautiful printing approaches. The mag is the brainchild of New York-based designer and art director Elana Schlenker and this month sees the launch of a new breed of “half” issues of the publication.

“Creating Gratuitous Type is always an educational experience. From speaking with artists we feature I learn about their work, ways of working, influences, collaborators, background and it leads me down interesting rabbit holes,” explains Elana. “For a time I thought I might add an appendix to full issues to include some of these tangents, but I didn’t want to dilute it. I’m interested in using these half issues to broach subjects that stray from the discipline of graphic design, so the idea evolved into a standalone magazine that I could produce in between issues of Gratuitous Type.”

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We featured the fourth issue back in 2014, and this new iteration is still design-focused, yet the main point of difference is that the new magazine’s content is in some way connected to the content of the previous issue. Highlights include: a conversation between former Walker Art Center creatives Andrea Hyde and Eric Price, which was inspired by an interview in the last issue with design director of the museum Emmet Byrne and an article on The Pulp Show an exhibition produced by Letterproeftuin who were also featured last time.

“I hope issue 4.5 will prove to be a useful supplement for returning readers,” says Elana. “But it’s important to note that this issue stands entirely on its own, where its no way necessary to have read the last issue to enjoy this one!”

The mag is printed in just one colour and the reasoning behind this was to make these issues more affordable and informal than the full issues. “I think the one-colour printing supports the feeling of the reader-style format I was going for. Future half issues will also be printed in one colour, in whatever colour is used in the full issue they relate to.”

As well as colour choice, other aesthetic decisions include using the same typefaces and graphic elements but applying them in different ways. “Typically each issue of Gratuitous Type is completely redesigned from the last, so this half issue has actually proven to be a really fun way to revisit some of that design and build on it before moving onto the next thing.”

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Elana Schlenker: Gratuitous Type 4.5

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Elana Schlenker: Gratuitous Type 4.5

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Elana Schlenker: Gratuitous Type 4.5

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Elana Schlenker: Gratuitous Type 4.5

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Elana Schlenker: Gratuitous Type 4.5

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Elana Schlenker: Gratuitous Type 4.5

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Elana Schlenker: Gratuitous Type 4.5