This Week in Magazines

relax-200601 0512 cover

  • The latest issue of PEN (167) takes a look at souvenirs from around the world, spotlighting things to get from various cities.
  • This month’s RELAX (107) sports a cover claiming “2006 Onsen Happy Days,” with most of the interior taken up by everything relating to hot springs, from international picks to the best in Japan. Nothing against onsen, but I can’t say that it’s something that I’m particularly interested in reading about in style/culture magazines (a recent issue of BRUTUS was also devoted to the same topic). Also, RELAX has now switched (or possibly last month, since I missed that issue) to the Japanese traditional way of back-to-front reading, and we also see the return of a newspaper-like supplement. Honestly, the most fascinating thing about RELAX these days revolves around what the magazine is going to look like (content/layout) from month to month.
  • The latest DESIGNERS’ WORKSHOP (Vol. 22 No. 144) features a report on “The Graphic Designers on the Rise,” as well as a look at the Jun Aoki-designed Aomori Museum of Art. I particularly liked this bit from the feature, talking about Tetsushi Kawamura, art director for TITLE: “While most men’s culture and fashion magazines try for a hyper-masculine look even as their actual contents stress stylishness and good looks, Title’s design doesn’t go in over-the-top masculinity. Rather, Kawamura interprets the editor’s suggestion to ‘make a magazine that women also want to pick up’ in his signature light, flexible style.” Although they state on their website that the magazine is bilingual, there’s really only a 2-3 page summary of some of the articles in English (where that quote was taken).
  • ECIFFO (Vol. 47) is a bilingual “Magazine About the Office,” with this latest issue featuring “The Next Step in Office Innovation.” Even though I’ve never worked in an office, I can’t help but be attracted by stylish/creative office spaces.
  • This month’s CASA BRUTUS (70) features (take a deep breath) “The Great Journey of Japanese Local Food and Architecture,” which is basically just an excuse to list spots to see (and where to eat) around Japan. There’s also an article sharing the magazine’s best architecture and design picks of 2005.
  • The latest BRUTUS (585) devotes most of the issue to souvenirs/gifts from around Japan, a follow-up to an article they did a few months ago.