Design Envy: The Indie Magazines We Wish We’d Designed

eyemagTake a closer look at these 10 independent titles that truly embody the relationship between form and function.

What makes an indie magazine great? For some, it’s the content. For others, it’s the design. For some, like the magazine aficionados at Stack, it’s the well-crafted marriage of the two that serves to create something entirely unique.

“The London Design Festival kicks off on Monday next week (17 September) so we’re taking the chance to showcase the very best of design in independent publishing,” writes Steven Watson in “10 Design magazines everyone should read.”

The article features 10 two-minute video clips reviewing some outstanding publications, including the latest issue of Real Review, a London architectural title that absolutely immerses itself into the idea of form and function in a way that forces the reader to understand some common truths about the magazine – and design in general – simply by picking it up.

“Adding an extra fold to Real Review rethinks the structure of this magazine about architecture and critical thought,” Watson continues. “We love the decision to print on cheap, glossy paper, elevating it with smart design and accessible, engaging writing.”

A favorite of ours is Works that Work, a title that highlights the people who are creating designed solutions to true human needs.

“In their seventh issue they probe beyond the visible aspect of design to examine the invisible principles and systems that shape the world around us, for example reporting from Rwanda, one of the first countries to ban plastic bags, showing how ‘design’ can apply to all aspects of modern life,” he notes.

What we love about each of these titles is the way they draw the reader in and keep them engaged on the topic of the editor’s choice. It’s the hard edges of print publishing we like to talk about, that true curation experience that’s simply impossible in digital when the next distraction is just a click away.

For all of us who are beginning to understand print’s new role in the multi-channel brand experience, these magazines are well worth a look. The creativity and attention to design detail not only sets the magazines apart visually; it elevates the editorial experience as well.

Truly great stuff.