27 Oct 2013


Magazine Spotlight #02
Monocle www.monocle.com

"Keeping an eye on the world" since 2007, Monocle was launched by the man behind Wallpaper magazine, Tyler Brûlé. It's the one title I am a paid subscriber for, accepting their package of 10 issues + 2 papers + 1 tote bag + full online archive access + event invitations for an annual fee of £90. That price is actually more than what the cost of buying individual copies at the newsstand would be – a challenge to the standard pricing model where in-advance batch subscriptions tend to be better value. This is explained in the confidence placed on their services, a subscription being more than just a sales contract but as an act of buying into the brand. And Monocle's branding is one of the most complete around.

In partnership with sister design studio Winkreative, Monocle has rapidly achieved an iconic status of design and presence. The magazine aims to pioneer the ever-changing print and journalism industries, priding themselves with dense, in-depth and carefully selected content covering what they have identified as today's most relevant topics in affairs, business, culture and design (following a beautifully effective logic of ABCD). Significantly rooted across all parts of the world with offices, correspondents and sources, the work is assured to be genuine and unique, and certainly doesn't lack in quantity either as issue after issue they deliver seemingly larger, book-ish documents that I've currently collected the past 23 of.

Monocle has from the beginning laid out its version of aspirations and represents a high quality lifestyle in collaboration with their readership, and in recent years the company has expanded and ventured into radio broadcasting, physical shops and cafés to supplement the paper product and emphasise their values. Each outlet offers a different, yet equally asset of the brand and has proven to be a fine example of changing the relationship with its followers and the expectations for what a magazine title provides. At the very least, it's a successful challenge on what the relatively static print culture had been in the past couple of decades. Now, six years down the line, the format remains unchanged in its aesthetic design, which clearly reflects said aspirations and framework, using a sure template filled with beautiful first-hand photography and a masterful combination of Plantin and Helvetica.

It's a publication I constantly have much to take and learn from, in all aspects of its venture and one that has no doubt inspired my joy for the revival of print media.

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