A good impression

Reading time : 5 minutes

When was the last time you read a print magazine ? For most of us, even some of us who work in media, the answer is probably, “I don’t remember.” And in an age dominated by digital, one might be tempted to think that print has lost its relevance.

The tactile experience of flipping through a beautifully designed magazine remains unmatched. It’s like the difference between watching a film in the cinema or on TV at home, or between those uncomfortable “Zoom drinks” we’ve had during the pandemic and actually going to the pub. In short, if all you do is scroll through articles on your phone, you’re really missing out.

Print magazines provide a tangible, immersive source of inspiration and present content in a completely different visual way than digital.

Eye Magazine dives deep into the world of graphic design and visual culture. It is academic but accessible. Founded by Rick Poynor in 1990, the magazine is based in London and its latest issue, 104, features a profile of legendary art director Peter Knapp, a look at Pentagram’s redesign of The Philadelphia Inquirer, and an article on the design of the movement by editor John L. Walters. The next issue comes out in October.

Eye doesn’t just showcase designs, it tells the stories behind them, giving designers comprehensive insight into the “why” and “how” of great design work.

Idea is a magazine on graphic design and typography published quarterly in Tokyo. Founded in 1953 by Okumura Yukimasa, it is a bilingual publication written in Japanese, but many texts also appear in English. It is available in print and digital version.

The latest issue, 403, is titled “Type Design for the Voice of the World : The Works of Toshi Omagari.” This special issue focuses on several type designers who go beyond traditional type design and calligraphy practices. It discusses history through the reprinting and reengraving of European typefaces, presents examples of bespoke typeface production and extensive collaborations, and shows the development of unique digital applications and devices for different typefaces and systems.

Design from Idea is a play of colors, layouts and paper types, creating a one-of-a-kind printed product. The magazine examines different creative scenes, both local and international, showcasing the works of Japanese designers from different regions, highlighting Arabic typographers, and more.

Creative Review, also known as the “advertising industry bible”, is a bimonthly magazine focusing on design, advertising, photography, branding, digital products, film and gaming. It was originally launched in 1981 as a quarterly supplement to Marketing Week, then later became a monthly magazine in its own right. Nowadays, it is not just a magazine but rather a platform that covers various media. Its print edition, however, remains a benchmark for quality design work and thought-provoking articles.

The Fall 2023 issue of Creative Review brings together profiles on brands using creativity in innovative ways, including Airbnb, Squarespace, and Patagonia, as well as the people shaping culture at large. Additionally, the magazine delves into the world of fashion through interviews with Depop and digital artist Stephy Fung, who expands the industry’s possibilities in the virtual space.

Why it inspires : It’s always up to date with the latest trends and provides critical insights, making it essential reading for designers with a forward-looking vision.

Slanted, which debuted in 2004, is a biannual book-style magazine that features curated graphic design portfolios and covers major events in the international design and culture scenes. Its headquarters is in Germany, and each issue focuses on a specific geographic location and explores the local design world. Besides the magazine itself, Slanted also operates a letterpress foundry and publishing house focused on art and design books, as well as its own online design blog.

The last issue, number 41, focuses on Amsterdam. Released in April, the edition brings together a selection of Amsterdam’s brightest minds and offers an in-depth look at their work and values. Illustrations, interviews, essays and a comprehensive appendix with many useful tips and an overview of the best Dutch writings complete the thematic file.

TYPEONE is a biannual magazine focused on the evolving interplay between typography and graphic design. Founded in 2019, it covers a wide variety of topics, using typography as a gateway to open important conversations and constantly spotlighting current and future generations of talented creative talent from around the world.

The organization also runs Femme Type, a platform that celebrates, supports and empowers women type designers and their typography-focused work, and offers a curated online marketplace, Type Department.

Issue 06 of the magazine delves into the world of experimental typography, its cultural influence on the design industry, and the new typographic tools used to create it. It features articles on the influence of AI, the intersection of experimental typography and streetwear culture, and bespoke type design, also featuring interviews including from Bareis + Nicolaus and TWOMUCH.

Wallpaper* was launched in London in 1996 by Canadian journalist Tyler Brûlé and Austrian journalist Alexander Geringer, and today covers design, interiors and lifestyle. While this is a bit off topic for graphic designers and illustrators, compared to the other titles on this list, its visual aesthetic approach still offers plenty of visual inspiration.

The latest issue (294, October 2023) includes a lighting review by interiors editor Olly Mason and a striking beauty shoot with Dior makeup director Peter Philips. He also marks 20 years of the Rolex Mentors & Protégés project, tours Omer Arbel’s rare architectural offering in Vancouver, dives into Aesop’s restorative design ethos, and visits Edra headquarters to discuss his unique approach furniture manufacturing.


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