I've been trying to curb my magazine habit lately. I really have. I usually go through more magazines than (insert witty joke here). But, after getting my hands on three interesting magazines, I thought I'd share them.
The obvious one of the bunch is Creative Review. It's easy for design magazines to lose themselves in an endless game of 'let's impress our peers' but CR has always managed to straddle the lines well. And, as a reformed font geek, this issue is a treat. Font porn is the simplest way to describe it.
The second most obvious is Proper. I was a bit worried about the step up as I really liked the lo-fi qualities of previous issues. Thankfully, it turned out just fine. Less of a step up, more a case of a lick of paint. There's fun poked at stone faced menswear newcomers and the writing is actually enjoyable to read. That sounds like faint praise, but it's rare to read something in fashion/clothes/menswear (delete as your comfort lines lie) print from someone that can write a coherent, interesting, well constructed sentence.
The last one is Begi, a magazine given to me by Tatsuo from 3939 Shop (secret alert: 3939 will be the subject of the next Selectism sessions). It's easy to fall into a Japanese magazine version of Top Trumps, but I enjoyed this one mainly because it's as simple a magazine as magazines get. The premise is that it lists the top 100 things in Japan in numerical order. Everything from suitcases that do double duty as scooters to the all navy outfit (apparently all the rage in Japan last year) gets a look in.
Which makes me wonder how well Japanese style magazines would do in the western mainstream? Inventory is the closest thing, but it's still essentially a western magazine focusing on Japanese products. And by that I mean, it's very sparse, lots of white space and doesn't really have the zippiness that Japanese magazines tend to have. Apologies for using the phrase zippiness to describe a magazine. In my defense, I'm a dickhead.
I've heard the argument that western audiences aren't into product in the same manner that others are, but the prevailing influence of product blogs show that up as baloney. In fact, I'd wager that the main reason no one's done a strictly product based mens magazine lately is because blogs have plugged that gap. I've held the feeling for a while now that there's still a gap in mens fashion magazine market for the folks who feel that blogs don't quite sate all their reading appetites and magazines are too focused on advertorial editorial to appeal to them. But who's gonna step up and fill that gap?