Magazine review: 4) Smith Journal #12, Spring 2014.

I’ve seen Smith Journal around but never got interested enough to browse it. It looks like one of those titles that has an eye-pleasing cover but disappoints with the lack of thought-provoking content. And by its generic-sounding name, this could be a wishy-washy read. But in some cases, not all magazines can be judged by its cover. So is Smith Journal worth a look? Let’s have a flip.

Smith Journal #12, Spring 2014.

Smith Journal #12, Spring 2014.

Smith Journal is birthed by makers of Frankie, an unabashedly feminine Australian magazine well known for its pastel pennant-decorated, gingham-tableclothed, deer and sparrow doodle aesthetics.

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Magazine review: 3) PORT #1, Spring 2011.

If you ask me how I normally value a magazine, it’s by its disposable factor. Weekly glossies with poor journalism ranks low (unless it’s really bad that it’s worth keeping to inform my future self that such publication once existed). In many cases, magazines with matte covers hold more value, though they damage easily during attempts to peel the price tag that newsagents carelessly stick.

Cover featuring Daniel Day-Lewis.

Cover featuring Daniel Day-Lewis.

Thankfully, no unsightly price tags came with my copy of PORT magazine. The launch issue calls itself ‘The Intelligent Magazine For Men’, but it’s a nice read for non-men, too. Let’s look at the topics covered.

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Magazine review: 2) SURFACE #101, July / August 2013.

Cover featuring hotelier Ian Schrager.

Cover featuring hotelier Ian Schrager.

It took SURFACE one hundred issues to evolve into a decent publication. My past experience with this title was largely unmemorable, but now with the new art direction by Noë & Associates and a reshuffled editorial team, SURFACE today is pleasant specimen to be displayed on a coffee table, as well as to be read.

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Magazine review: 1) PIN–UP #10, Spring Summer 2011.

Architecture magazines have a certain stigma. They don’t look like they were designed using Macs. Technical renderings haphazardly positioned alongside text in three languages. Badly-designed ads for shingles, cladding and hardware. Basically, they were made strictly for architects.

PIN—UP, issue 10 Spring Summer 2011

PIN–UP, however, is a unique case. It was created by Felix Burrichter (Instagram: febubufe), a trained architect. But at some point, he ended up working with the editors of Fantastic Man magazine. Eventually, he set up his own magazine. In the autumn of 2006, the first issue of PIN–UP was born.

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How I developed my interest in magazines.

Magazine stack late 2009

A stack of magazines purchased in late 2009.

Among all mediums, I have the closest connection with magazines. While I was mostly a book person during my younger years, I leaned towards magazines when I entered my college-going years.

Enrolled in a design school, I was exposed to graphic design in publications. The magazine section became my favourite part of the book store. Back issue magazine shops was my source of reading materials, as they were sold at a lower price than the latest titles.

Years went by and my magazine collection grew to dominate my bookshelf. In the beginning, I was mostly buying architecture and interior design magazines as it was tied to the course I was taking in college. I dropped out of design school and enrolled in a Mass Communication course when I found out I had a strong journalism streak.

It can be said that the point where I seriously considered magazines to be my future was when I picked up Monocle. It piqued my interest in art direction and refined my design sense.

After some thought, I decided to start this blog as a way to document the magazines I own. Every title is different. Just like a person. And I want to introduce them to you one by one.

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