Five things that are true of all of our Things this week:
1. They’re tactile: Included in the bunch are pompoms and unbound pages and striking architectural shapes.
2. They advise: Whether you’re a 17-year-old about to leave for University, or an artist clinging onto your part-time job, these things will advise you on exactly what you should be doing next.
3. They’re subtly designed: Lots of lovely, simple lay-outs in grays and blacks and pinks and cream colours.
4. They arrived in envelopes: There is still something that gladdens the heart about opening an envelope to find such surprising and innovative Things inside.
5. They’re things. You always need things. So enjoy!
Bethany Baker: Honest Blog
Who isn’t charmed by being introduced to a magazine by having four brightly coloured pompoms roll spectacularly out of the enveloped that it’s arrived in? This is how we received Honest Blog, the independent magazine designed in the Rookie spirit by 17-year-old Bethany Baker. The magazine is part of her final project at college, and it’s entirely dedicated to encouraging students in similar positions to herself to “get out there” and make it in the creative industries. Inside, Bethany has curated lists of helpful websites, advise from creatives and tips for decorating your student bedroom (this is where the pompoms become relevant.) The design of the publication is strikingly simple, and if this is the work of Bethany aged 17, one can only imagine what her work will be like at age 77.
Jonny Bruce: The Germ
The cover of The Germ is the envelope that contains it. The envelope is embellished with a woodblock engraving by the very talented Duncan Montgomery, which delivers a rustic atmosphere to your door even before you’ve had the chance to read the essay on wildlife gardening, or to marvel at the sublime images of fields and flora revealed inside. Each submission in the hand-crafted publication comes on a separate piece of paper, so that the contents can be read in any order you choose. Jonny writes in his accompanying letter that “many of its pages may find their way onto walls, passed through hands or even new envelopes” and the zine is wonderfully engaging as you turn and unfold the different essays or poems or photographs in your hands. With The Germ, Jonny hopes to “provide a comforting tangibility in an increasingly virtual world,” and so it comes to no surprise that the zine doesn’t have a website. A site would almost seem to primitive next to this lovely collection of objects, which constantly change shape in your mind. Though he may not have a site, Jonny does have an email address, and The Germ is always looking for submissions, which have only one requirement: that they engage in some way with the natural world and your relationship to it.
Jonny’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zoe Fudge: Prints
Zoe is an artist and architect, and her work explores scaled environments through appropriating architectural drawing techniques. On her site, she explains that her work “invites the viewer to experience an imagined visual occupation of the works, engaging our fascination with the miniature.” We love the pastel pink and gray architectural structures, which are dreamy and otherworldly and contain a dash of M.C Escher.
Underscore: The U Press
The U Press is Underscore’s complimentary newspaper, with all content attuned to “quality of life.” What we find interesting about the newspaper is it’s clear and Monocle-esque design and lay-out. Very smart.
Bas Fontein: What to Do
This is a project that is reminiscent of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies: open up to any page of Bas Fontein’s book, and there will be a sparkling, emphatic nugget of advice. Bas is an artist with a part-time job, and people often give him unsolicited advice on how to make money with art. He decided to ignore what everyone said, take what they suggested, and make that into art instead. The suggestions range from the flippant to the weird to the wise, with advice like “Make a movie of everything you do and put it on YouTube,” “Just don’t stay in bed all day,” and “A van or motorcycle, with your name on it.” Flip the book around to its neon orange pages, and you have the whole thing translated into Dutch. Opening the book to get guidance on how to end this piece, the book says: “You need a way in.” Well, a way in can be a way out.