American designer Elana Schlenker popped into the studio this week and came bearing gifts in the form of the new issue of her much-lusted-after Gratuitous Type magazine. There’s a humility about this printed venture you don’t often come across, with the very first sentence of the colophon setting the tone: “Gratuitous Type is a pamphlet of typographic smut. It is published infrequently.”
From the gold polka dotted acetate wraparound you realise you’re in the presence of something smart, and the content is faultlessly curated – Issue 4 features interviews with Raw Color, Kokoro & Moi, Europa, Dries Wiewauters, Tim Lahan and Emmet Bryne, design director of the Walker Art Center. Meanwhile Dutch studio Letterproeftuin have been given the centrefold section in which to run riot.
There are nicely subtle nods to the vernacular – both visual and linguistic – of porn magazines (referring back to the smut mentioned in the strapline) and Elana’s considerable design talents tie it all together. To celebrate the launch of the new issue, Elana has also organised a show at London’s KK Outlet gallery, featuring work created by collaborators and contributors.
Peep Show runs from today until 31 October and you can listen to a special edition of our Studio Audience podcast recorded with Elana Schlenker below.
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