When my friend Ray recently im’d me about a magazine he wanted to pass along to me, I was all for it of course—it had been awhile since I reviewed anything from print. When I saw the cheap blue photocopier paper coming out of a brown envelope I was like “hmm, what is this?”. My snobby design sensibilities were kicking in. As I thumbed through it I was a bit surprised at how bad it looked. Questions like why did they do this, why not just a make a pdf, were they trying to be ironically unironic etc? I think Ray could sense my unease of wanting to talk about it on the blog. I think he may have thought I was a lost cause.
Later that night when I got home I took a second look. I’m happy that I didn’t let the designer in me censor myself. From the front to the back I can’t recall enjoying a publication as much as Manzine. The form fits the content perfectly. It’s actually really well designed. At one point I went to the masthead to see who in fact did design this thing. I had to laugh as they were already in for the ride; Woz was apparently the desktop publisher. My favourite spread both for content and layout was the one about Baskerville, neon lights and pro cycling. Using the neon typeface for talking about neon while almost predictable wasn’t because it’s a really old typeface that’s hard to come by these days. Other articles worthy to note were about gravy boats and garages. When was the last time one magazine talked about all those things, and actually did it quite well?
The issue that I was reading was #2. I’m not sure when #3 is coming out though I presume it will be sometime in the winter as this was the summer issue. I can’t recommend ordering this mag enough—if you go to their site at http://themanzine.blogspot.com/ you can order a copy for a couple dollars. Plus the site has bunch of the content from the magazine to browse.