Berlin-based magazine Flaneur has scooped up two gongs at the Stack Awards, an annual celebration in London of the very best work in independent publishing. Picking up Magazine of the Year and Art Director of the Year, the publication, which is designed by Studio Yukiko, pipped London’s Migrant Journal to the top spot, with the competition attracting 450 entries from 29 countries.
Speaking to It’s Nice That, Stack founder Steve Watson says of Flaneur’s win: “It’s been brilliant to watch Flaneur develop over the past few years. They’re genuinely pushing at the boundaries of what a magazine can be, producing an impressionistic, almost poetic vision of a place that looks beyond the surface to construct some kind of soul of a city.”
Watson continues, “It’s entirely subjective, but at the same time it feels totally definitive – I couldn’t think about Taipei now without thinking about the version of it that they have created. If you look back over their earlier issues you can see them gradually refining their process over the years and I think this latest issue is the most complete and enthralling iteration of what they’ve done so far.”
Launch of the year went to feminist skateboarding magazine Oh-So, Cover of the Year went to Fukt for its fluid typographic design, and Editor of the Year went to Amsterdam-based design magazine MacGuffin. Sports and culture magazine Victory Journal scooped up the Best Use of Photography prize, while Tromsø-based Nork won Best Use of Illustration. Both Melbourne’s The Lifted Brow and Dublin’s The Stinging Fly were celebrated for their excellent writing, the former winning the Best Original Non-Fiction prize and the latter crowned for its fiction.
Run by magazine subscription service and editorial platform Stack for the fifth year, the competition was judged by some of the biggest names in the world of graphic design and print, including Pentagram partner Astrid Stavro, MagCulture’s Jeremy Leslie, designer and author Debbie Millman, writer Ekow Eshun, former New York Magazine editor-in-chief Adam Moss, The New York Times Magazine design director Gail Bichler, author Olivia Laing and It’s Nice That’s very own Will Hudson.
Speaking about the independent magazine scene more broadly, Watson tells us: “These days there’s no shortage of ways you can voice your opinion about stuff but that’s often done in haste, dashing something off quickly to have a response out in the world. Anyone who has tried it will tell you that you can’t make a print magazine quickly – they’re slow, awkward, finicky things but that means they encourage a more considered, more thoughtful approach, and they offer the opportunity to make something that’s as close to perfect as possible. We’re living through an extraordinarily fruitful time for independent publishing at the moment and I think that’s because people are searching for this more considered approach, looking for something that will stay with them because it’s beautiful or clever or funny or weird.” We couldn’t put it better ourselves.
You can find a complete list of winners and nominees here.