This Week in Magazines

  • I’m having to do some catching up this week, and so two issues of BRUTUS. Issue 597 features “The Beach,” and offers up guides to the world’s best beaches, and other beach-related topics. As I truly despise the beach — yesterday I checked out a beach in Naoshima for all of 5 minutes, and even that was almost torture — I can’t say that there was much of interest here for me. The following issue (598) is a bit better, with their “10-Day Traveller” feature. I quite liked the nice map-like insert that includes various itineraries. And also, let me state that the new big trend in magazines has got to be the use of inserts, as they’re popping up everywhere, sometimes more than one per issue. The issue also includes a look at Yoshitomo Nara’s “AtoZ” project.
  • Same thing for PEN, I have two issues to cover (that each featured inserts as well). Can you believe I almost missed out on issue 179, which is devoted to “Stationery with Style.” They not only highlight picks, but also offer up a glimpse at various creator-types’ favorites. Also, strangely enough, there’s an article on the new A-POC jeans that is fully bilingual, which is a first I think for PEN. I don’t really get why they did it for just this article though. The new issue (180) introduces “New Meisters of the 21st Century,” covering artisans in various fields.
  • – I’m not dead yet.
    – Shut up, you soon will be!
    Seems like RELAX still has a few issues to go, with the latest one (114) offering up the “Relax Magical Hair Tour 2006,” with a feature that covers hair designs by Nagi Noda (she art directed the piece as well).
  • The latest TITLE (77) decides to “Spy Out the Next Car,” which normally would leave me cold, except for the fact that they feature the new James Bond on the cover, alongside the new Aston Martin DBS he rides in the upcoming CASINO ROYALE. I also liked the Bond-related piece inside that highlights every car Bond has used in his films. Full disclosure: I’m a huge Bond fan, and have the entire series in both VHS and DVD.
  • Another month, another book survey, this time in STUDIO VOICE (368) in the form of their “Art Book Best 150,” which are presented, as SV always does, by way of categories. Am I the only one who wishes that someone would open some sort of design/art book library so that we could actually get to read through these gorgeous but pricey books? I’d willingly pay a monthly fee to have access to such a place.
  • CASA BRUTUS (77) assumes again that we’re all high-rollers and tries to answer the question, “What Makes a Perfect Villa?” This issue’s insert is a guide to restaurants with views of Tokyo Tower.
  • SOTOKOTO (86), the “Eco Fashion Magazine,” says that “The LOHAS Kids Are Alright,” and offers up a feature on raising kids in a LOHAS-friendly environment. The issue also includes some sort of environmentally-conscious bag, that includes a message by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
  • REAL DESIGN (9) just keeps getting better and better, and is turning into quite the nice design magazine. The cover feature is a look at brands that are at least 100 years old (“Over 100 Years Brand Story”), and they also include a nice look at food packaging, visit a few design offices, and write-up Taku Satoh.
  • RE:S (1), or RE:STANDARD MAGAZINE, is a new LOHAS-themed magazine that anybody who has seen stuff like D LONG LIFE DESIGN, KU:NEL, and LINGKARAN, will pretty much know what to expect. It’s a nice format, with warm photography. Their manifesto: “We propose a new standard. The galloping world will pick up important things, one by one, dropped here and there. We would like to make such a magazine.” The cover story suggests the use of thermoses, and I loved the bit on cafes that support people bringing their thermoses in with them, with stickers on the windows that say something like “Thermos Accepted.” The whole magazine seems to be sponsored by some sort of art/eco program by Resona Bank called REENAL.