Sunday, May 1, 2016


Japanese design and typography mag Idea publishes a special about 'post-independent' magazines. This new generation of magazines, the editorial says, is more focused, as opposed to the overwhelming content of the internet. A printed magazine might not be as practical as online content — it’s bulky and heavy and once the ink has been fixed on paper there's no way to update the text — yet 'this comprehensive approach to production — this folding-in of creative labor — is in itself a special claim.'

Idea asked 18 independent magazines to create a small booklet about their magazine accompanied by a short interview printed with silver ink on black paper. It’s a nice overview of Japanese and international indie magazines with quite a few Athenaeum favourites such as Agapornis, Dirty Furniture, MacGuffin, Gratuitous Type, Works That Work and Print Isn’t Dead.

The Japan-based magazine Too Much is also featured, a special title we love because of its diverse content and design. They call themselves a Magazine of Romantic Geography - as the magazine is about the relationships between people and space in cities. 'The mission of Too Much Magazine is to observe and report those extremely personal memories that happen in a city. We talk about the ideas that modern cities provide us and how our ideas would also create new city scenery.'

Works That Work editor Peter Bilak shows the financial side of publishing an independent magazine. He uses 'social distribution': readers take copies of the magazine with them in their luggage when they travel and avoid high distribution costs. About the magazine landscape he says: 'There is too much focus on the medium, and not enough on the content and substance of the publications.'

Next to the booklets there are interviews with indie magazine specialists and lists of their favourite titles. The latest issue of Idea is a true collector's item: featuring many of our favourite titles, printed and designed in a spectacular way the editors have managed to create something great!

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