Now, that’s a kick ass cover line.
For the guy chosen last
Issue No.09 available via iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/GymClass09iTunes
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.
Magazine fanboy alert. For our new issue, we hooked up an email roundtable with the co-chairs of this year’s SPD Awards. Yup… magCulture’s Jeremy Leslie; Bloomberg Businessweek’s Richard Turley; and Pentagram’s Luke Hayman spoke with Gym Class Magazine about the success of this year’s Awards and their relevance to smaller, independent publishers.
These guys know their shih tzu. Seriously. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Gym Class Magazine—An effort was made this year to involve smaller, independent magazines in the Awards line–up. Was the effort successful? Did you see an increase in first–time entries?
Richard Turley—Yes. International entries were up 20 per cent. In fact, overall entries were up 20 per cent. Plus we saw a lot more variety in the entries.
Jeremy Leslie—I was a little disappointed by the quantity of entries to the new smaller magazines category but the quality of those that were there was high (for example: ’Sup, Bidoun, Victory and Little White Lies). And the judges seemed to enjoy the category. There were also quite a few entries by smaller magazines to the more general categories, which was good to see.
Gym Class Magazine—Are the SPD Awards relevant to small, self–publishers?
Richard Turley—I think so. Leaving the Awards themselves aside for a moment, the Annual is a chance to offer your work some permanence, to be seen and exhibited alongside the best magazine design from all over the world. So if you’re interested in that, then of course they are relevant.
Jeremy Leslie—They haven’t been relevant but that’s no reason for them not to be in the future. There’s always discussion around awards programmes: What’s the point? It’s the same people always winning, etc. But for me the real point isn’t just winning a gong (though that can be enjoyable), it’s about getting your magazine noted/appreciated.
So many publications come and go, they disappear into the ether. The SPD Annual is a great record of editorial design and for me it’s a shame if the smaller magazines aren’t recognised as part of the mix. And compared to many awards, the SPDs are relatively cheap to enter. But it’s also worth noting that smaller publishers don’t have the support resource in terms of planning entries.
I hope some people that haven’t entered before will be encouraged by this year’s shortlists.
Gym Class Magazine—Are there any magazines—personal favourites—that you hoped would enter but didn’t?
Luke Hayman, Pentagram—I agree. Fashion seems always to be under represented. In particular, it’s a shame that Baron & Baron haven’t entered for many years. Interview and French Vogue have been tremendously influential but have not been represented within this competition or the Annual.
Jeremy Leslie—Judging brings together two opposite hopes; you want to see your favourites but you also want to be surprised by entries you’re not aware of. There are always magazines you think should be there but aren’t; but there were also some interesting ones I hadn’t been aware of.
The Grids newspaper (from Canada I think) was one pleasing discovery.
Los Angeles + New York City hangout spots
More illo greatness from the new issue of Gym Class Magazine. This time, big love to wonder duo Crispin Finn for this sweet contribution, accompanying an equally ace article by The Fox Is Black’s Bobby Solomon and Afterzine’s Hamish Robertson.
Bobby and Hamish talk us through some of their favourite places in both Los Angeles and New York City. Bi-coastal, peeps… that’s where it’s at. Here are a couple of choice cuts.
Bobby’s favourite place to have coffee:
“Intelligentsia in Silver Lake is the perfect place for coffee and people watching. Grab your laptop and some magazines and soak in the sun while you sip on an Angeleno and enjoy the parade of hipsters that frequent the neighbourhood.”
And Hamish’s favourite place to have something stronger:
“Artisanal cocktail haunts have spread like a rash across New York’s boroughs but Williamsburg’s Hotel Delmano manages something most don’t: it’s as well suited to 2pm as it is to 2am. On a sunny afternoon it’s open and bright with tabletops of Tecate and lime, and in the wee hours it’s an intimate affair with excellent cocktails. Try the Smoke & Flowers, a heady concoction of Ardbeg Single Malt, elderflower liqueur, sherry, and dry vermouth.”
Thanks Crispin Finn, Bobby and Hamish for contributing. Ace, you all are.
The original editorial schedule for the new issue of Gym Class Magazine included a column from Jean Snow, a.k.a. The Magaziner. He’s ace, and so was his contribution. Jean wrote about Newsweek’s 1960s-themed Mad Men issue, published back in March this year.
Unfortunately, tho, Gym Class Magazine No.09 was published way later than originally planned, so we didn’t run the piece.
We also commissioned the ace illo above… by talented illustrator and editorial design guru Luis Mendo. That’s Jean pictured, with his trusty iPad and super lush pooch. We love the illo so much, and just had to share it here on the blog.
Thanks Jean and Luis for contributing… you guys rock!