“It’s simpler, cleaner and more pared back”: delve into issue two of Emulsion magazine

“We want to use the power of community to challenge conventions of hierarchy, barriers between creative practices and what a magazine is meant to be,” say the founders of the Our Place-designed publication.

10 January 2020


After a dazzling debut just over a year ago, Emulsion magazine is back in its second issue and is both bigger and braver than its first. With 208 glossy pages packed with creative content and designed, once again, by Our Place, the latest issue immerses its readers in the explosive works of over 30 international contributors. Founded by artist Louis Morlet and art director Michael Opie O’Grady, the publication started out as a way for the two creators to share their fascination for globalised culture. And so far, has become a vehicle for contemporary artists to voice their creativity in whatever means they feel necessary.

Featuring the likes of Anne Libby, Ben Rivers, Crystallmess, Genome 6.66 Mbp, Henry Gorse and Issy Wood – just to name a few – the second issue saw the Emulsion team working much more closely with its featured artists. Inside the magazine, we are treated to a review of the environmentally-conscious experimental music event Terraforma. And in other features, readers are introduced to iconoclast musician-cum founder of Danish techno imprint Jonas Rönnberg and a long-form interview with the compelling artist Marilyn Minter, known for her hyper-realist paintings and video work exploring eroticism, desire, fetishism and beauty.

Louis tells It’s Nice That on the jam-packed second issue: “We were much more ambitious in the execution and presentation of each project, recruiting some amazing new writers and photographers to work with, and a film and photography editor.” With these new members of the team, Louis and Michael have welcomed the fresh channels of creativity, refining the aesthetic of the contemporary publication while developing more conceptual narratives through the photography commissions. Meanwhile, the two co-founders continued to collaborate in close proximity with east London-based studio, Our Place, well known for its previous publication designs including Contra, Left Alone and Why Materials Matter.


Emulsion Magazine: Issue 2

Amidst all this change, however, there are some things that have remained consistent with the magazine’s debut in 2018. “We are still very much a DIY operation!” says Michael. Loosely exploring the relationship between the artificial and the natural world, Emulsion’s second issue has visually flowed and matured from its first. Staying true to the fundamentals of Our Place’s design system established at its launch, the second issue has built on themes, references and visual cues in the last year. Its explorations are deeper while some of the content is more nuanced, “for example,” explains Louis, “the increasingly blurred line between reality and fiction.”

Though Emulsion has always been aesthetically distinct in its metallic colour palette and jutting grids, its second issue prides itself on the amplification of artists’ voices through each custom-designed spread. For Varg2™ FKA Varg’s submission, for example, the artist created a poetic, photographic discourse between the artist and magazine. “This kind of collectivism epitomises what we set out to do with Emulsion,” continues Michael, “a new publication by, with and for artists.”

In this vein, for both Louis and Michael, the upgraded design of issue two “felt like a big step forward” for the founders. “It’s simpler, cleaner and more pared back. Issue two feels confident, allowing the content to breathe and speak for itself.” With fewer fonts in use for this latest issue, Louis and Michael aimed for the second issue to be a slower read, somewhere where its viewers can bask in a moment of escapism and the appreciation of craft. The co-founders finally go on to say of their intentions: “We want to use the power of community to challenge conventions of hierarchy, barriers between creative practices and what a magazine is meant to be.”

GalleryEmulsion Magazine: Issue 2

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Emulsion Magazine: Issue 2

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About the Author

Jynann Ong

Jynann 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. She went freelance in 2022.

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