SPD 47: Brandon Kavulla's Favorite Magazine

SPD 47: Brandon Kavulla's Favorite Magazine Brandon Kavulla, Creative Director, Wired
Favorite Magazine: Fantastic Man

I realize this is not the most original selection, but man I just always love it.

There really is this dry windsor-knotted sense of humor throughout the book that comes across in the writing, headlines, design, photography and especially the mix of stories.

In taking itself so formally, it ends up being intentionally self deprecating and really freaking funny and entertaining. (everyone written about is "MR.")

I am also a massive fan of center axis anything; text, headlines, page structure....and pretty much all of Fantastic Man is center axis. The result is an elegantly brutal symmetry that ends up being yet a another expression of it's hysterically overdone formality. (Like calling everyone "MR.")

And the mix of stories! A peruse through the (center-axis-ified) front of book: A headline reads "Pocket Squares are the New Tits", then a full page on a fashion/art film on ice skating moves, then a picture of a nice umbrella (the headline is "Nice Umbrella"), then an old school etching of Ground Parrots for an article on bird watching, followed by a short piece on using aluminum foil....(yeah the stuff you bake tater tots on)....as a creative tool.

What. The. Hell.

Hysterical. Awesome. Riveting. Audacious.

I love it.

I also love when design or creative thought takes full advantage of a medium; in this case print. They will change stock inside the book from full color glossy pages suddenly to newsprint and black and white imagery. The cover has this pebble texture that feels like leather (how manly). I remember one issue had this little loose note between the pages fall out that just said "we wish you a wonderful summer." (how thoughtful)

Fantastic Man achieves what I feel is the ultimate compliment to a magazine maker: not wanting to throw it away. The feeling that this mass produced book is somehow special, and worth saving. I've never thrown away an issue.


This post is part of the Favorite Magazines Project, part of SPD's PUB 47 Competition and AwardsDownload the entry forms and be a part of the competition here.

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