With an aim to break down the traditional structure of a magazine, the latest issue of Tunica is replete with experimental and interchangeable design. Ringing good riddance to the grid system, Tunica, the New York-based studio behind the publication, instead makes an “artwork of each spread, so the whole magazine becomes an art object in itself.”
“We focused on the graphic and visual approach, rather than prioritising legibility – making experimentation the objective of the issue,” says creative director Jose C. Garcia, working alongside art director Mauro Bonillo. This is the result of a hefty collaboration of over 50 contributors for the seventh edition, which includes various freelance designers and studios working across different spreads. Themed on “Extended Fantasy”, the issue features work from multi-faceted designer Virgil Abloh, fictional virtual influencer Lil Miquela, actress Paz de la Huerta, fashion designer Sánchez-Kane, artist Marguerite Humeau, actor Eric Wareheim, fashion designer Weslah, design studio Guccimaze, Jugocenia and rapper Bali Baby. “Our creative team curated the content and the collaborators in order to create an empathic aesthetic vision.”
This approach is a huge contrast to its predecessors, where the design and art direction of past issues were in the hands of a single person or studio. For example, in 2017 we wrote about Córdova Canillas’ commission to design issue six, with other past art directors including the likes of Julia, Folch Studio, Bureau Borsche and Studio Lin. “The magazine’s creative process needed a fresh twist,” Jose tells It’s Nice That. “So instead of having just one studio with a closed visual identity for the whole issue, we wanted to invoke more people under Tunica’s creative direction and give them enough freedom to make something personal and different.”
Admittedly, it was a lot of work to compile such as vast amount of creatives and contributors in the issue. “The whole process was kind of tricky,” Jose says. After selecting potential collaborators who shared its vision, the studio then distributed the contents among them depending on their style and, of course, what they were looking for within pages. “Sometimes it was super fluid and easy, and other times it required more feedback and changes. The designers and artists we were working with were all very different, so at times it was difficult to navigate between each designer’s creative approach. In the end, the result was a very flexible system which blended an array of aesthetics and creative processes.”
As well as a motley of design and assorted art pieces inside the publication, Tunica’s cover was equally as diverse. Tasked with a brief to design four versions of the magazine with eight custom-made Tunica logos for the cover – plus a photo that showcases different contents within – the designers included Guccimaze, Jugoceania, Kazuhiro Aihara, Basile Fournier, Mauro Ronillo and Luca Devinu. “Using alternative covers and logos, we wanted to represent the variety and the craziness you can find within the magazine,” says Jose. Inside, this “craziness” is apparent yet equally as charming; the constantly changing identity is formed via a variety of typefaces and custom-made title fonts, a wide colour palette, different textures, 3D effects and layered graphics. Jose concludes: “We were looking to create a publication that questions the notion of what a magazine looks like.”
About the Author
Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent the last seven years as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.