Design: The Beauty of Print
For some of the best-looking international magazine titles, look up this article. According to the 'The Independent', a magazine's design has never been more crucial to its survival than in the digital era and these eight magazines are doing a good job of looking good.
MCSWEENEY'S (US, Literature); www.mcsweeneys.net
Magazine, journal, book: call it what you will, McSweeney's is definitely "out there". This literary quarterly has been known to print a short story on a large deck of interchangeable playing cards. McSweeney's prides itself on good design (not always a given with literary magazines).
FANTASTIC MAN (HOLLAND, Men's Style); www.fantasticmanmagazine.com
Printed in wide format, this Biannual Dutch style magazine uses three paper stocks: gloss stock for advertising; uncoated greyscale paper for editorial content; and a rare, thick stock sourced by the editors for the cover. The Spring/Summer 2008 issue features a loose letter to the reader praising the art of traditional correspondence.
LE PURPLE JOURNAL (FRANCE, Essays and Photography), www.purple.fr
Purple, the Parisian publishing house behind Purple Fashion, Purple Prose and Purple Sexe has inspired countless other magazines with its clean design, long-form essays and use of multiple paper stocks (including 40gsm newspaper). The journal is published three times a year in both French and English, and has a circulation of 8,000.
MONOCLE (UK, Newsmagazine); www.monocle.com
A cross-format media brand taking in web, audio-visual, and podcasting elements, Monocle is more than just a magazine. Printed on five different premium grade paper stocks, including triple coated gloss, Monocle has its own "bespoke" size. Recent issues have featured raised foil blocks on the cover (to depict gold bullion) and supplements held in place by a large rubber band.
PAPER SKY (JAPAN, Travel); www.paper-sky.com
Paper Sky began as an in-flight style bi-lingual publication running stories in Japanese and English. Twenty five issues old, it now focuses on its Japanese readers. But the messages of good design and sustainability remain in place for the magazine that uses soy ink on recycled paper.
YKKY (SWEDEN, Art); www.ykky.se
This contemporary art magazine YKKY is a large format annual measuring almost A3. Just two issues old, the editors plan to alter the design with each issue, and offer works of art with little or no commentary. The magazine is printed on Munken Lynx, an exclusive, silky uncoated paper and features large artistic spreads alongside interviews with prominent creatives.
POL OXYGEN(AUSTRALIA, Design); www.poloxygen.com
Launched in 2002, Pol Oxygen is unmistakable for its holed out cover and a special UV varnish. The magazine, which reports on design, art and architecture, often plays with format from issue to issue, including super-size foldouts and unique page trims.
A10 (HOLLAND, Architecture); www.a10.eu
A10 is a Dutch architecture magazine published by critic Hans Ibelings and graphic designer Arjan Groot. It has a disciplined, unfussy layout and is marketed as "the most economical architecture magazine possible" according to Ibelings. With this in mind, the editors have used oversized dimensions and print right up to the edge of the page.