Great name. Sweet masthead.
By Gym Class Magazine
“They were the first books to make me appreciate graphic design, albeit unconsciously. I liked the cover layout, the bold use of different colours for each car. Back when I was a kid I was too young to understand it was graphic design—I didn’t know what about it I appreciated—but looking back I realise the books appealed to my sense of order, to my love of simple, functioning layouts. The covers were so strong, too. They used a working formula for every vehicle, and the classic cut-away graphics were amazing.”
This early influence is present in David’s work at Esquire around the time he won PPA Designer of the Year. Simple, functioning layouts… I’m a fan too.
In fact, a Tumblr devoted to mock magazines in movies would be so sweet.
Review: 10 Men
10 Men is one of my favourite magazines. Editorial director Antony Miles is an outspoken, opinionated genius. He has balls, very big balls. For me, this is what publishing––fashion or otherwise––should be. Reading 10 Men, I reckon he must make PRs very nervous.
I love the magazine for a number of reasons, not least because it’s so very funny. Like, wet yourself funny. Seriously.
One of the (oh-so-many, LOL) highlights of the current British-themed issue is an interview with ex-Esquire now Mr Porter editor-in-chief Jeremy Langmead.
Please buy the current issue, if only to read this article.
Review: The Alpine Review
There’s no way I’m ever going to read every article in The Alpine Review, in the same way there’s no way I’ll ever read every article in The New Yorker or Monocle. But that’s not the point… the point is there’s enough good content in The Alpine Review to make a purchase worthwhile even if you don’t come close to reading the majority of it.
So, it reads well. But it looks and feels great, too… more of a well designed textbook––or journal––than a magazine. It’s one well-lush keeper. And I’m not talking about sticking it on some poorly constructed IKEA Billy Bookcase; at almost 300 pages, The Alpine Review is too damn heavy for that.
It feels truly international. Published in Canada but printed in Barcelona… it’s a bit Inventory, a bit The Paris Review, a bit The New Yorker, a bit 032c, a bit Monocle and, among others, even a bit WIRED.
I… um, I… oh my, I think I love it.
Kati has contributed to a few issues of Gym Class Magazine; she’s a lovely and well-smart writer/editor/curator. Her article in The Alpine Review is a must-read for magazine fans, discussing how printed magazines are more and more often becoming the centre of wider-reaching brands/enterprises; citing heavy hitters Monocle and WIRED, and smaller, indie titles such as Little Joe and Sang Bleu as examples of magazines that have successfully established communities around their printed, inky origins.
Oh, I should also point out Kati has contributed to Gym Class Magazine No.09. She spoke with Do You Read Me?! co-founder Jessica Reitz about her favourite magazines. Call me bias, but I think it’s also a must-read for magazine fans and makers.
The Alpine Review is still available from the magCulture Shop. A full list of stockists can be found on The Alpine Review website.
Review: We Are Here
If Instagram was to make a customer magazine, it would kinda look like We Are Here. The new lo-fi travel magazine promises an insider take on cities and the people who live in them. Free from PR spin, and with all photography in the magazine taken on iPhones by its contributors, editor Conor Purcell describes We Are Here as “a long-form postcard” covering the “stories, people and places that make a city unique.”
Issue one focuses on Dubai.
Up front… if I were to compile a list of ten cities I have no interest in visiting, Dubai would be right up there. So, can We Are Here warm even me to Dubai? It’s a seriously tough ask.
First impressions, We Are Here looks and feels like Apartamento… matt stock, larger than normal body copy, about the same dimensions. I haven’t spoken with Conor about the magazine, but I’m confident Apartamento was an inspiration. The philosophy behind We Are Here’s content feels similar to that of Apartamento, too… honest, real people/real lives.
I like it.
But, I’m gonna be a typography nark for a mo.
Peeps familiar with Gym Class Magazine (the magazine, not just this here blog) will know I like to play around with body copy… to set body copy in fonts that others might not consider.
The body copy in Gym Class Magazine No.08 was set in Helvetica Neue 57 Condensed (tracked to 50) in justified columns the depth of an A3 sheet; while body copy in the new issue (an app, so to be viewed on screen) is 20pt Platform Light (also tracked out to 50).
My point is this: I like a bit of body copy nonsense. I’m well up for it. But I question the body copy choice in We Are here. I’m not sure it works when white out (the serifs are too fine for the thirsty matt stock). In my opinion, it needs to be tracked less tightly; and (at times) some extra breathing room in the leading would help my weary eyes.
I love the lo-fi photography concept of We Are Here. Seriously, love it. And it works really well with the content and the magazine’s ethos. So much so, I would love to have seen more: more portraits and more personal/behind-the-curtain insightful stuff.
Dubai comes across as a lonely place… a transient population, polarised communities, surrounded by wide expanses of nothing. Kinda like an up-and-coming Vegas.
Here’s an excerpt from an article about Dubai Airport’s Terminal 2:
“The contractors who work in the security industry–greatly enlarged since 2001–all look alike: big, short hair, switched on, desert boots, black or olive locked backpacks.
The contractors who work in the service industry look fat, dull eyes; they could be flipping burgers in Wisconsin… the money is better, the monotony the same.”
My favourite article in the issue is the tongue-in-cheek How To Write About Dubai, including this editorial design advice:
“The cover of your book must include a picture of a man wearing national dress. It does not matter if the man is not actually Emirati, but he must look Emirati. He should either be smiling benignly or shaking hands with a western man dressed in a suit. Other items that may be included are a falcon, a skyscraper or a palm tree.”
I can confirm We Are Here hasn’t made me want to travel to Dubai. But I don’t think enticing me to visit the city it features is the point of this magazine. After all, this is not a PR-driven publication. And phew for that.
Conor is a seasoned traveller, Irish born but living in Dubai, and a self-confessed magazine lover. He’s a co-founder of Wndr Media and the editor of Open Skies (the Emirates inflight magazine): so he’s well positioned to put together a magazine like We Are Here and focus the first issue on a city like Dubai.
I sense Conor really likes Dubai, and wants readers to really like it too… or at least to understand more about it, to look beyond the cliché. Nothing wrong with that.
The first issue of We Are Here has me eager for another. I’m especially excited to see how the magazine develops, and to see where it travels to next: with an objective eye, but also with a team of trusty iPhone-enabled insightful locals.