Emulsion is a new publication documenting cutting-edge arts and culture. Designed by the London-based design studio Our Place, the magazine is founded on pluralistic objectives with the hopes of pushing boundaries through its imaginative design and content. Its first issue is packed with artist interviews, photography, fashion, music, original artworks and opinion pieces from the likes of some of It’s Nice That’s favourite creatives including Jonathan Castro and Ida Ekblad.
Only released last week to worldwide distribution, Emulsion tailors the design of each article according to the aesthetic of the work at hand. For instance, James Lincoln’s comical black and white illustrations bring out the personality of characterful dogs with human faces and each illustration is set against a suitably designed, black and white checkerboard layout with text weaving across the page in monochrome inversions.
Another example is Jonathan Castro’s piece where his 3D graffiti-like illustrations are set against a similar colour palette of blurry tones that fittingly embed the illustrations into the page. The sans serif body copy is understated to offset the busy visuals, and on the whole, Our Place keeps to three typefaces, using contrasting weights of Unica paired with the decorative script Vivaldi, as well as a serif for some of the copy. The striking type provides a sense of uniformity amidst the conflicting visuals across the magazine and supplied the designers with an opportunity to use typefaces they’ve admired for years.
On the magazine’s design, Our Place studio adds: “We’d been creating the identity for a while before the actual publication. For the logotype and masthead, we developed custom lettering with a bold, boxy feel with exaggerated ink traps that we felt were impactful as well as appropriate for the aesthetic of the magazine. This was paired with a series of interchangeable E’s which will be different for each issue keeping it fresh and dynamic.”
The magazine was created by the artist Louis Morlet and designer Michael Opie O’Grady who both share a “fascination for globalised culture," Michael tells It’s Nice That. “Currently, there are some huge leaps being made in the arts and we wanted to capture that essence and present a broad cross-section of the creative landscape.” This is seen in the magazine’s opposing aesthetic which aims to embody “a holistic view of culture”, binding disparate stories and works into one cohesive publication that functions “as a platform for discussion.”
One of co-founder Michael’s favourite pieces includes the work of Kelman Duran, a Dominican-born multimedia artist, producer and resident DJ at Rail Up, an African-Caribbean inspired dance party in LA. In the lead up to his new album 13th Month, Michael and Louis interviewed the artist, touching on his interests in Afro-Caribbean-diasporic dance parties in New York while showcasing his sensitive photography and filmmaking abilities. One of many exciting finds, Emulsion’s first issue is packed with international creativity and promises to impart knowledge on a variety of contemporary issues through its pages of sleek design.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.