Not content with their recent self-titled heavy tome of a book and the quarterly Print Isn’t Dead, the latest publication from the ever-busy People of Print (PoP) will now be landing monthly. Which is just as well, perhaps, as it’s quite a slight publication.
As its name suggests, Posterzine comes as a folded poster. There are other projects like this—Belgium’s Postr is a good example—and it’s a fine format, satisfyingly tactile and immediately a physical thing. It takes a fair amount of space but is worth the little extra effort to expand the 16 pages into its A1 glory. “But is it a magazine?” I hear you ask. PoP founder Marcroy Smith has a definitive answer on that.
But first, let’s just enjoy the scale and printed beauty of this object as it unfolds here. Each issue features a single designer, in this case specialist print studio Heretic (the previous orange issue above featured Eike Konig). An interview on one side is contrasted by a poster on the other; simple, neat, and very desirable.
It’s a clever and ambitious project; moving into a monthly production and distribution model is bold, while the simple editorial premise overcomes the one criticism I’d level at some of PoP’s other work to date—that the content can be weak. This is something Smith is aware of, and issue by issue Print Isn’t Dead has noticeably upped its editorial threshold. With Posterzine it feels like another strong step has been taken.
As a product of People of Print, the print and production is immaculate, right down to a highly critical self-assessment. Talking to Smith he highlighted the “crow’s foot” effect that occurs at corners when you fold a sheet three times (below). He was disappointed, but I enjoyed the nostalgia it brought about of the same effect on fold-out poster publications from the past. One of Smith’s publishing heroes is the late Felix Dennis, who, it’s worth noting, started his career with similar fold-out publications, albeit featuring ’70s celebs like Bruce Lee.
But does a cute format and some special inks a magazine make? One way of establishing this is to submit it to the British Library, who are obliged to collect a copy of every magazine and newspaper in the UK. “I sent the Library a diagram of the particular fold,” says Smith, “and they classified it as a magazine. It’s not folded as a concertina, it opens up like a magazine.” So now we know.
At £5.99 Posterzine is the perfect entry into the world of People of Print, with the added benefit of some smart wall decoration post-read.