I’ve been collecting magazines ever since I was 13. From the days of J-14 and M magazine, I loved reading horoscopes with my friends, flipping through the celebrity gossip pages and obsessing over Nick Jonas posters. Things haven’t changed much today, I still enjoy reading the occasional People or Cosmo gossip and fashion columns, all while still obsessing over Nick Jonas.
Magazines are the reason I decided to pursue a career in graphic design. I love the entire process of creating a publication, everything from the brainstorming, mood boards and shoots to editorials, articles and layouts. To me sitting down with a magazine is more like an experience, much like reading a book. The designer in me tends to appreciate detail qualities such as: the texture of paper, typefaces, special finishes, use of color, photography and layout organization.
Now, it would be easy to discuss some of my favorite gossip and fashion magazines, but today I want to share with you a list of a few publications that are a little more special. Each has quirky qualities that puts it in my top 5. So here’s a few for other design fanatics and magazine junkies like me:
Side note: let me know if you’d like me to do a full magazine collection with some more of my favorites. And if I’m missing out on any magazines, then please let me know what I should pick up in a comment below!
Frankie is a bi-monthly magazine based in Australia. They describe themselves as a smart, funny, sarcastic, friendly, cute, rude, artsy, curious and caring magazine. Frankie covers almost everything: design, art, photography, fashion, travel, music, craft, interiors and real-life stories. Their content is extremely witty and full of personality, making it an easy Sunday morning read and they make great coffee table accessories because of how beautifully designed the pages are. They use gorgeous original photography and artwork combined with simplistic typography, printed on matte pages. Plus, they often put free postcards or posters in the issues that are way too cute to pass up. They also release a smaller issue titled a little bit crafty, which features DIY projects and ideas that will give you serious crafty feels.
Juxtapoz (pronounced Jucks-tah-pose) is an essential magazine for any designer. It’s a pretty iconic publication that was created by a group of artists and collectors to both help define and celebrate urban alternative and underground contemporary art. This magazine isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely a good one to pick up every now and then to stay up-to-date on the art and design culture .
Hooray! (yes it’s spelled with an exclamation point) is an independent party and entertaining magazine that was founded in 2013. Based in Australia, this magazine is bi-monthly and offers sustenance, styling, atmosphere and celebrations that inspire the mind, the eye, the spirit and the stomach. Hooray! is full of beautifully large photos and minimalistic typography that makes it a heavily visual magazine; however, it’s still full of great content too, including: recipes, real-life stories and DIYs. It’s perfect for anyone who is looking for inspiration and ideas for an upcoming event.
Wired is a heavily content based magazine that discusses more serious issues, ideas and information every month. Topics cover: technology, business, science and design. It’s a great source for designers to read about breakthroughs, innovations, up-and-coming industries and new ways of thinking. The layouts are efficiently designed and creative with typography and graphics, making Wired a quality magazine that has great visuals supported by incredibly informative content. Wired also has a great website and digital edition of their publication where you can read on-the-go.
Watad magazine is an art, architecture and design publication based in the Middle East, discussing topics local to the region. Each issue covers a certain theme which dictates the content and design. This specific issue, titled Transmigration, talks about “spaces that take on mythological significance and transcend generations, enshrining cultural systems within spatial constructs,” as described by Watad. Although I do appreciate the amount of work that goes into the articles, I mostly love this magazine because of it’s unique aesthetic. Watad is printed using soy inks on wood free and recycled paper, giving the magazine a very raw and vulnerable feel, which is why they chose to have an exposed spine binding. It's great for those who like to stay informed about the art and design culture throughout the region or if you simply enjoy quality design and photography.