Jeremy Leslie: Some Faves from the Magazine Blogger from Across the Pond

Jeremy Leslie: Some Faves from the Magazine Blogger from Across the Pond

Many of my favourite independent magazines have recently published excellent new issues. Dutch fashion title Fantastic Man continues to lead the way in men's titles, providing influential directions in both art direction and design and in balancing serious editorial with a knowing sense of intelligent, ironic humour. Helsinki's Kasino A4 presents a melancholic Finnish look at the modern world, this time focusing on our sex lives. Moving across Scandinavia to Norway, Carl*s Cars continues to examine the relationship between people and cars in its charmingly gentle way.

Lula.pngLula is a British biannual that has created its own distinct world using many of the UK publishing industry's top female fashion creatives. Lula's world is a world of young girl-women living their lives and dreams that completely bypasses the clichéd male-orientated fantasies of that genre.

Apartamento.pngNewer magazines to catch my attention include Apartamento, a small format title from Barcelona covering 'real' home interiors, themed photography magazine Capricious and OK Collections. This last example reminds me of NY nineties title List, which lasted only one issue but remains an all-time favourite of mine. Both magazines consist of visual collections of information in the form of lists. Written lists and pictorial taxonomies combine to create well-paced engaging material ranging from the serious to the hilarious and everything in between.

Wired.pngOn the newsstand I continue to enjoy the graphic creativity of both Wired and Good. American magazines have so much more research and fact-checking power than those from Europe, and these two epitomise that strength transferred to graphic presentation.

Monocle.pngIn the UK Tyler Brulé's latest project, Monocle, is at the vanguard of a group of magazines looking to engage a more high-end, serious audience. Others include Economist spin-off Intelligent Life, the reinvigorated Wallpaper* and the UK edition of Esquire. These titles combine intelligent, modern design with a desire to make the most of the printed medium through the use of different papers and specialist finishing effects like foil blocking and die-cutting.

In 2009 I'm looking forward to the launch of Fantastic Woman; the second issue of Dutch magazine-book Duf, designed by Suzanne Hertog; issue four of Karen, a British title focused entirely on the daily minutiae of the life of the eponymous Karen; and the second edition of Colophon2009, the magazine conference I co-curate in Luxembourg.

Finally, if I don't receive a copy of "Reasons to be Cheerful, Barney Bubbles" for Christmas I'll be straight down to Magma bookshop to buy a copy. Bubbles is the great lost hero of British pop culture graphics, responsible for a generation of young music fans discovering how music and graphics cross over. The book is long overdue.

Jeremy Leslie is Executive Creative Director at John Brown in London, founder-editor of the blog magCulture, and co-curator of Colophon2009.

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