Here. issue 9

Plus, another indie mag (this time for baseball fans), a luggage company’s tastefully designed lifestyle publication, and Dennis Bernstein and Warren Lehrer’s latest collaboration in visual literature. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

  1. Here Magazine, issue 9 

Perhaps you’ve heard of Away, the makers of luggage that also charges your phone (and frequent advertisers on the podcast circuit). Have you also heard that it publishes the magazine Here? It’s not all that intuitive of a connection—the magazine is a far cry from a brand book, with a visual identity and content that don’t harken back to its parent company. We’ve been admiring the layout design as of late, and this week we discovered that designer Chloe Scheffe (who’s penned an op-ed for us) has been heading up the design recently. She sent over some spreads of the latest issue, which came out in late July, and we were thoroughly impressed.

The new issue features musician Jamila Woods on the cover, as well as artist Jason Polan and musician Prateek Kuhad within. It goes to Shanghai, where “entrepreneurs advocate for in-person connectivity,” and Suzhou, where it learns “the value of slowing down.” The design pops with lime-green accents, distinctive title pages, ballooning type, and some striking photography. Not to mention a trademark embossed cover, which this issue takes the form of a faintly rendered jigsaw puzzle. Nice use of that Away $$$.

2. Further Reading Print No. 1

If anything piques our interests more than a brand new publication, it’s one that is focused on navigating design practices based in different regions around the world. In the case of Further Reading Print No. 1, those regions range from Estonia, where it looks into Signals from the Periphery, the United States (Southland Institute), and the Philippines (Temporary Academy for Un/Re/Learning), among others. The theme is “identity,” and through stories and contributors from around the world, it seeks to “see how the single subject could give rise to different interpretations.”

The inaugural issue of the print magazine is part of the Jakarta, Indonesia-based editorial, curatorial, and lecture platform Further Reading, which looks to engage a discourse in the design world around sociocultural and political issues. The magazine is designed by Each Other Company, also based in Jakarta, and was launched at a pop-up shop in one of the city’s clubs with a red-tinted window display. It’s a great start, and we’re excited to see future issues.

3. Five Oceans in a Teaspoon, Warren Lehrer

Sometimes you can be surprised to learn how close you’ve been to something without ever knowing it exists. That’s how we felt recently about French Fries, a book/play written by Dennis Bernstein and Warren Lehrer. Published in 1984, the book is considered a classic in visual literature; it won the AIGA Book Award, a TDC award, and was claimed to be “one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read” by Philip Meggs in AIGA Journal. Steven Heller says it’s a book he covets to this day in his forward to Bernstein and Leher’s new book, Five Oceans in a Teaspoonout September 19 from Paper Crown Press.

Bernstein, a poet and investigative journalist, writes of his life: growing up dyslexic, his father’s gambling addiction, his experience teaching in prison and living on the street; of love, loss, and caring for aging parents. Lehrer, a designer, author, and co-founder of Ear/Say studio is known for his expressive typography and visual storytelling, and gives each poem a visual composition. The result is a kind of concrete poetry formed through collaboration, and a truly moving reading experience. As Heller puts it, “Many of the compositions give form to the interior, emotional underpinnings of the poem… Together, the writing and visual composition create a new whole.” We’re running some spreads above, but believe us when we say you’ll want to read them in book form.

4. Oh-So magazine 

We caught wind of Oh-So at the ModMag lunch series (MagMagMag) in NYC in May while watching founder Rob Hewitt give a talk with Caitlin Thompson of Racquet and MagCulture’s Jeremy Leslie. We were immediately intrigued by its origin story: Hewitt started the magazine after his daughter, at age eight, took an interest in skateboarding. When they had trouble finding a board that she liked—most of what they found was marketed to boys her age—they began to dig into the history of female skateboarders. And there began Oh-So, a magazine dedicated to the “global female skateboarding community,” and one that “exudes fun and positivity,” as MagCulture put it in its review of the first issue. Now the magazine has just come out with issue 3, which focuses on female skateboarders who “act mindfully to produce positive, memorable impressions” on the world.

Hewitt, a seasoned creative director who is now principal designer and the design studio Curious Outsider and creative director at Dwell, has previously designed for magazines like Popular MechanicsPremiere Magazine, Billboard Magazine, GQ, and New York MagazineHere, he brings his expertise to a publication that’s pure passion for him—and it shows. With design and creative direction that’s as professional as any you’d find in any big glossy, Hewitt’s truly talented at translating a mood. Oh-So teems with fun and attitude, and there’s the added bonus of highlighting a robust but niche community to a general interest audience.

5. Road Grays issue 2 

In other sports indie mag news, the baseball magazine Road Grays has gotten in touch about its second issue. The magazine focuses on the “human stories behind the game, rather than on stats and stars,” and it does so with a special attention to information design and typefaces (its use of Roslindale Condensed garnered it a nice shoutout on Fonts in Use around the launch of the first issue). The overall editorial design—and especially the cover—does a nice job of subtly alluding to news and print design during baseball’s heyday in the ’40s and ’50s without an overkill on the nostalgia or Americana. It joins tennis magazine Racquet and Oh-So above in the growing category of indie magazines focused solely on one sport. Plus, based on the reception of our recent deep dive into the Rated Rookie logo, we’d say there’s a bit of overlap in the design and baseball communities.