Magazines 2017-03-12T20:23:33+00:00

Magazines

It feels a bit odd listing magazines as an influence but for me magazines probably really are crucial to just about everything I do. For me magazines have everything, words, design, images and a sense of belonging and, by association, a connection, no matter how tenuous, to that magazines subject.

As a child I used to collect and cut out the photographs of Vietnam, or of events like Woodstock or the Grosvenor Square clashes outside the US embassy from the Telegraph or Sunday Times supplement. My mother bought Nova and Vogue and I would rescue them from the dustbin if there were thrown out and hide them under my bed to keep them safe.

I scoured secondhand shops, not just for books and old Marvel comics, but also for magazines, finding and buying an almost complete run of the ABC Film Review when I was about 11 and then subscribing to Films Illustrated, then a new film monthly. To this I added the US news magazine TIME when I was 12 or 13 because of my obsession with all things American.

As I progressed into my teens I bought up every issue of OZ I could find, along with other underground publications. To these I added issues of NME, Sounds and DIsc in particular as it was more poppy and always had features on Bowie, and Alice Cooper.

By the time I started Art School I was not only buying up every punk fanzine I could, I was publishing them as well as I had hired a massive Xerox machine and was printing lots of them! I had also created my own fanzine, Stains, a hotch-potch of punk and porn put together with spray mount, typed-up interviews and photographs I was taking of punk bands, plus nude shots of my then girlfriend.

In 1977 I also bought the first issue of a short-lived (only two issues were published) fashion and culture themed magazine called DELUXE, which was like a punk Vogue. It made me realise that magazines could subvert the mainstream and be part of it at the same time and from that moment I became determined to publish or create my own magazine covering fashion, art, music, culture and politics.

Having been expelled twice in my first year at Art School, once for poor attendance, and once for being intoxicated with a prostitute on the premises (she had actually helped carry my drunk girlfriend back from the pub where we had been celebrating my 19th birthday but had somehow managed to collapse in the foyer), I finally started working properly.

I produced a dummy magazine and sent it to the then editor of British Vogue, Beatrice Miller, who much to my amazement wrote back and said that she would like to see me. Which was why, sometime around my 22nd birthday, that I left home with, I think, about £60 to my name, and moved to London.

Although I didn’t end up working for Vogue I did become a magazine designer, and then worked an art director specialising in redesigning magazines or, if it was a new title, designing them from scratch. I worked in London and then moved to Paris and worked on French magazines. I also redesigned SKIN TWO and created its logo.

I designed my own magazine, MOTIVE, a sort of yuppy Thatcherite fashion title which passed through several publishers before it went on the backburner forever and I published The Redeemer magazine instead.

I have thousands of mainly fashion themed magazines and still cannot go past a good newsagents without stopping and scanning its magazine rack for the latest edition of favourite titles or to spot a new publication. Magazines still excite me as much as they ever did and I love seeing great pictures and great type design, or being surprised by something completely new visually which still happens all the time.

So this section will feature publications by decade, as being displayed randomly, given that I have so many magazines, will just get too chaotic, plus it’ll be interesting to see the changing styles over the years.