4 min read

Design magazines in print.

Earlier this week a short thread on design magazines took place on Mastodon. Tom Carmony stated, “I used to devour design magazines (many bought at my local Barnes & Noble or Borders). I’m honestly curious which ones even still exist in this day and age.” As I buy and enjoy a lot of magazines throughout the year, I was curious myself. And I’m glad I did, as I found several that I did not know existed until I started looking.

After I found a short list through my own recollection and searching, I reached out to the good people at magCulture and asked if I was missing any. I was and a very nice person named Danielle augmented my list with titles I would never have found otherwise. With that, I am happy to provide this list of design magazines that are printed and in circulation.

B (magazine) “produces neutral and balanced content on brands, brand-adjacent businesses, and lifestyle for different media channels.” This publication started out with each issue focused on one brand and interesting things that are adjacent to them. I bought their issue on Monocle magazine many years ago and love their perspectives on the brand and publication. They have since branched out with another title called “F” which is focused on types of food, ingredients, and beverages. 

BranD  "defines a new way to look into Communication Design by presenting, researching and manifesting excellent works amongst Visual Art, Advertising, Product, Graphic, Interior, Architecture, etc.” Another design publication from Hong Kong and it’s bi-lingual. I don’t recall ever seeing Brand on a rack, but it was recommended by MagCulture and looks intriguing.

Communication Arts shouldn’t really need an introduction as it’s one of the oldest design magazines still in print in the US (pour one out for Print). Sadly the issues are a fraction of the size they used to be, but I found the annuals for design and typography worth the money.

Deem is “a global platform focused on design as social practice.”  This title is new to me and it looks like a must-read. Deem explores “human-centric design frameworks independent of exclusive institutions and industry categories.” To make it more interesting, the magazine is a collaboration between two design studios Openbox in Brooklyn and Room for Magic in Los Angeles.

Eye is my current favorite design magazine and a staple in my collection. Published quarterly, each issue is rich in design from cover to cover. In addition to buying an annual subscription, I highly recommend buying back issues 96 and 97 which go into full detail of how to start a magazine from scratch. Of all the magazines listed here, Eye is the must-have.

Find is a brand spanking new design magazine that “wants us all to take a breath, find a moment, and immerse ourselves in stories about identity, model-making, nature, loss, museums, ravioli, music, and parking.” And they are just getting started—Issue 001 is available right now. 

Pulp is "published by paper manufacturer Fedrigoni, and celebrates the creative use of their papers. As well as a great paper and print sample, it’s a source of design inspiration and is produced by the team behind Eye magazine.” This is new to me and I haven’t held an issue in my hands but it certainly looks to fill the need for those of us who still enjoy things designed for print.

Plastikcomb is described by one of the two founders, Aaron Beebe, as “a beautiful mess.” The name “is actually a metaphor for collage” which is the key ingredient in each issue. It reminds me of design work from the late 90s and early 2000s and downtempo fills my head when I flip through the pages.

IdN is still alive and kicking and publishing every quarter. They publish on quarterly themes that cover all types of design, including motion, fashion, and architecture which is why I don't subscribe but I do buy issues from time to time. In fact, I just ordered their issue from earlier this year on mixed media.

Type01 covers “a wide variety of topics, we use type as a gateway to open up important conversations and consistently spotlight the current and future generations of talented creative humans from all parts of the world.” You might consider Type01 a spiritual successor to Emigre from days gone by.

Revue Faire is published every fifteen days in France. The project began in 2016 “in light of a realization that critical publications dedicated to the analysis of Graphic Design are sadly few and far between today.” Each bilingual issue is under thirty pages and appears to be more like a badass design zine written and produced by some very top-notch designers. I’m definitely intrigued to pick up a few issues, but I’m also inclined to subscribe to an entire season.

Rubbish FAMzine is not strictly about design per se, but is quite the expression of inspiration. “Unique in execution, Rubbish FAMzine does what all magazines aspire to—it creates a unique world that is entirely its own—and is an inspiration to magazine-makers of all types everywhere.” Unique is an understatement! The current issue is 700+ pages and includes a box containing nine booklets, instant noodles, chopsticks, and more! A previous “issue” included a Casio watch. Danielle recommended this “for its design” and it’s easy to see why. The price tag will likely prevent me from obtaining a copy but it’s worth including in this list. Very cool.

Slanted is published twice a year and is “dedicated to exploring a special topic, resulting in a publication of exceptional quality and longevity. It serves as a definitive resource for uncovering international developments in design and culture.” Last fall I picked up two issues devoted on the topics of book design and independent-type foundries. The quality of this publication—especially the thread stitching—is bar none.

That concludes this list but I have a feeling that I’ve still missed a title or three. Or maybe you have your own point of view on some of these. What ever the case, leave a comment below.