“Today’s beauty industry is losing its creativity whilst climbing a commercial escalator,” explain Stanislas Nommick and Guillaume Lauruol of Paris-based art direction and graphic design studio, Atrois. Having started working together in 2015, the pair have a love of minimalism, typography, grid construction and photography (particularly still life) and wanted to channel these interests into a magazine that challenges this “commercial escalator”.
The result is Usage Magazine, a beautifully designed publication that injects creativity back into the beauty industry, while also disrupting the established working structures of the creative industries. With contributions from Corey Olsen, Julia et Vincent and Christian Hagemann, Usage’s content is focussed around still life photography where, in some instances, make-up artists dictate the art direction and set designers choose their photographers.
It’s hard not to be seduced by the slick and elegant photography included throughout the magazine’s first issue, which recently launched on Kickstarter. With images depicting the products in impeccably lit and glossy scenarios, each is followed by a detailed series showing said product in use. This attention detail isn’t limited to the publication’s imagery, however.
“We wanted something simple but significant,” Stanislas and Guillaume remark, “Usage Magazine’s name comes from the action of using a product.” For the logotype, the pair incorporated the e-mark which is a widely recognised addition to pre-packaged goods throughout Europe. It expresses the average quantity in a product; something which can vary. “It has a strong significance for us as it means that the content is not always the same, and that’s what we want. Each issue of Usage Magazine won’t necessarily have the same number of articles or photo series’, we want to surprise our readers and reinvent ourselves every time,” they explain.
Usage’s design also very much reflects the style of its imagery. Inspired by cosmetic labels, its incredibly sanitised and stripped-back. The magazine’s cover features a sticker system, as opposed to a traditional masthead. “This sticker is designed as a product label in which contributors are the ingredients,” the duo explain. With Helvetica Neue and Suisse (from Swiss Typefaces) used throughout, Usage is clean-cut, hierarchal yet neutral in order to place importance on all its contributions.
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