Wednesday, 9:00am
11 November 2020

From analogue to activism

magCulture Live goes digital next week, for a two-day conference that celebrates the creative and social powers of magazines

Dividing its focus between ‘activism’ and ‘analogue’, magCulture 2020 shows that even in difficult, disruptive times, printed magazines keep their fingers on the pulse of the moment, writes Alex J. Todd.

This year’s magCulture Live conference will take place across two separate Zoom sessions between 4pm and 7pm on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 November 2020. The first session, with its emphasis on ‘activism’, features a range of indivduals who can show how magazines can become vehicles for social and political change.

A selection of magazines included in the ‘Activism’ session, including (L to R) deemJournal Safar, Record, City Limits and Empire, as well as Steven Heller’s Merz to Emigre and beyond (far left) and images from Studio Pi (third from right). 

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Speakers include Sachini Imbuldeniya, the founder of Studio Pi, a photography and illustration agency that promotes and celebrates diversity in the UK’s creative industries, and Maya Moumne, the co-founder of Beirut-based Journal Safar, a bi-lingual indie magazine that puts a spotlight on design and visual culture in the Middle East.

Additional speakers include frequent Eye contributor Steven Heller and Eye founder and columnist Rick Poynor, author of David King: Designer, Activist, Visual Historian (to be reviewed in Eye 101), who will discuss King’s work for City Limits, the alternative arts magazine founded in London in 1981.

Some magazines included in the ‘Analogue’ session, including (from left to right) Interview, Real Review, The Skirt Chronicles, OOMK, Here, Werk and the Atlantic.

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The second day, centred around the ‘analogue’, is a reminder – at a time when large swathes of our visual culture migrate online – of the values to be found in hand-crafted, tactile magazines.

Chloe Scheffe (see Eye 100) will discuss her art direction for Here magazine, a travel and lifestyle magazine (see below), while Oliver Munday (see ‘Signs of the times’ in Eye 97) will reflect on his creative direction for the multi-platform Atlantic magazine. Further speakers include Theseus Chan, the creative director of Singapore-based Werk magazine and Rose Nordin (see ‘Noted’ #65 on the Eye blog), the co-founder and graphic design of OOMK magazine and the Rabbits Road Press.

First spread of a four-page opener from Here magazine issue no. 11 (2020), co-designed with Natalie Shields. Portrait of Serena Williams by Shaniqwa Jarvis. Scheffe art directs this customer title for Away luggage. See article about Scheffe in Eye 100.

First spread of a four-page opener from Here magazine issue no. 11 (2020), co-designed with Natalie Shields. Portrait of Serena Williams by Shaniqwa Jarvis. Scheffe art directs this customer title for Away luggage.

magCulture Live 2020 takes place on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 November, 4–7pm BST, and tickets are available here

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Full line up Wed 18 November 2020 (Activism)
Alice Grandoit, co-founder, Deem Journal (Los Angeles)
Steven Heller, critic and author (New York)
Karl Henkell, founder, Record Culture (Madrid)
Sachini Imbuldeniya, founder, StudioPi (London)
Maya Moumne, co-founder, Journal Safar (Beirut)
Rick Poynor, critic and author, David King: Designer, Activist, Visual Historian (London)
Terri White, editor-in-chief, Empire (London)

Full line up Thu 19 November 2020 (Analogue)
Theseus Chan, creative director, Werk (Singapore)
Sarah de Mavaleix, Sofia Nebiolo and Haydée Touitou, The Skirt Chronicles (Paris)
Oliver Munday, creative director, The Atlantic (New York)
Rose Nordin, co-founder and graphic designer, OOMK & Rabbits Road Press (London)
Chloe Scheffe, art director, Here (New York)
Jack Self, editor-in-chief, Real Review (London)
Kurt Woerpel, art director, Interview (New York)

Eye is a media partner for magCulture Live 2020.

Book your ticket here via Eventbrite.

City Limits no. 26, 2-8 April 1982. Cover, with photo of London singer Mari Wilson, by David King. See davidkingdesigner.com.

City Limits no. 26 2 to 8 April 1982 Photograph of the singer Mari Wilson Cover design: David King

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.

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