If you’ve paid any attention to the state of design in the last few years, then you’ve almost certainly heard of our latest participant in this on-going feature where we ask some of our most admired publishing identities to single out their five favourite magazines.
Jonathan Zawada first popped up on our radar a couple of years ago doing record sleeve design for The Presets (with whom he later won an ARIA award for the cover of their album Apocalypso) and since then has been involved in a mind-boggling array of diverse projects from art direction for Pop magazine (with collaborator Shane Sakkeus), to the world’s first fashion… comic, Petit Mal and more recently, Tru$t Fun! a line of digitally printed fractal pattern silk scarves which, to be honest, are way better than the idea sounds.
In between all of this, he’s collaborated with The Selby, drawn incredible hand sketched record sleeves for Perth-based electro sensations Canyons (recently signed to the DFA), designed a t-shirt for Urban Outfitters, morphed together dolphins and fighter jets into multi-coloured psychedelic phantasms for a K.I.M. record sleeve design and generally worked on a number of fascinating and fun-filled projects which are characteristically imbued with a sense of humour and wonder.
If you hadn’t guessed by now, we’re really thrilled to have him here to let you know a little bit about his favourite mags. Over to you, Jonathan…
I’m not a big consumer of magazines, to be honest they’ve always made me feel like I wasn’t quite good enough! Here’s my top 5 that are so good that I get over myself…
1. Dot Dot Dot
This is by far and above my favourite magazine and the only thing in my life that I’ve bothered to commit to subscribing to. I’m not even sure if I’d call it a magazine really, it’s more of a journal.
Their website describes it thus;
“Since its conception in 2000 DDD has immatured into a jocuserious fanzine-journal-orphanage based on true stories deeply concerned with art-design-music-language-literature-architecture and uptight optipessimistic stoppy/revelatory ghostwriting by friendly spirits mapping b-sides and out-takes”.
I think it initially started in the Netherlands but it seems to exist entirely independent of place and time. They cover any number of topics in any number of incredibly interesting and clever ways and more than any other thing I’m aware of, both its content and it’s methodology have shaped the way I approach all my work.
This is a Berlin based magazine and to me is the magazine format perfected. They manage to roll art, politics, fashion, design, science and just about anything else you can think of into a perfect package that treats everything with an equal respect that places it all in an interconnected framework.
It doesn’t talk down and it doesn’t talk too far up either, it’s just extremely well put together and although the subject matter may be quite considered it hasn’t succumbed to the sort of aloof sterility of similar magazines like Monocle – it still has a very human personality. Both 032c and Dot Dot Dot do something that sets them apart from almost all other magazines for me, they ignore the idea of “new” and simply focus on interesting.
3. Self Service
This one is a pretty obvious choice. It gets my vote as being the perfect fashion magazine. It’s design and art direction is impeccable and that’s what helps it become just as much the object of desire as the clothes and people contained within it.
This magazine taught me a hell of a lot about art direction when I was just starting out and its responsible for having created a ton of other copycats out there – not just me.
I don’t know much about this magazine, I just know that I love it. It’s kind of like a learned “gentleman’s” magazine. Everything about it is immaculate, I guess its sort of the men’s version of Self Service.
I never expected to like this magazine as much as I do because the culture it represents isn’t really a culture that I see myself as a part of. What’s great about it is that it seems to have managed to avoid ever getting stuck into having an image of itself that has to be upheld.
I met the editor of it one night in Berlin and was absolutely staggered to find out that producing the magazine really only consumes a small portion of his time, the rest of it is spent working as a commercial graphic designer, djing and doing any number of other projects.
He’s one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met too which just makes it all the better!