Monday, February 16, 2009

Magazines / Mag Round Up: January 2009

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)

Preview Jan-Feb 2009
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Another year, another redesign. Preview is so good at reinventing their magazine they always outdo themselves. By far this is the best redesign for me. As if they were reading my mind, everything I didn't quite like about Preview's look was changed (e.g. clutter-y layout, the use of so many fonts, etc). I really like the new (ish? or is it just me?) paper/printing. It's so nice! And oh, I especially loved the new set of fonts used although the section headers/openers (whatever they're called) and certain parts look quite Elle-ish (as in the magazine). Design reference perhaps? Or pure coincidence? I still love it though. Also, I think Kris Aquino's (the cover girl) face is way over photochopped. Other than that, I have nothing much to complain about. I guess this is my favorite issue so far (as far as overall content/design/material is concerned).

SS09 Trend Report Supplement
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Clever idea of making the Trend Report a booklet. Compared to last time's tabloid style supplement, this one is more convenient and easier to bring around (especially when you need to show it to someone or when you need a quick inspiration). The downside is that it can get misplaced easily. The illustrations of artist AJ Omandac were fantastic too.

Imagine: the Groove
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This issue's main theme is all about music, hence the title "the Groove". The editorials were fantastic! I'm glad they did something quite different compared to the last couple of issues (which looked quite similar...) I think this one had a good mix of styles ang genres (think loud and silent, minimal and maximal, soft and hard, you get the drift..) as far as photography is concerned. But it would sure be nice too see if they will try to explore beyond the avant garde/unconventional/crazy aesthetic, especially with the styling (although I love that forward thinking aesthetic to bits!). The layout was stripped down to basics—a simple grid/column, small and simple type (helvetica? courier set at probably 12pt or less?) and very few elements. It's refreshing and it's quite appropriate I guess; the clean look perfectly contrasts the strong/conceptual imagery. This issue is the best so far. I hope they bring this abroad because it can def kick some international magazine a$s. :-p

T3 Jan-Feb 2009
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I'm aware that this is just a local version of an international title and they are just following a template, but I think local hands are also at work and I have to congratulate them for a job well done. Like the photography—majority of the photos were taken by, if I'm not mistaken, Christian Halili. Kudos! I also love their Wallpaper*-ish home section. Another thing, Summit Media def stepped up the game with their new-ish papers/printing—I love it! This issue also explained why the gadget Guru 'died'—he was replaced by Gadget 'Guro', a sexy and naughty looking teacher. Oh boy. Anyway, my fav T3 so far.

Art In Site Magazine (NEW)
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Nice paper and printing, good layout and design and beautiful photography—just exactly what you expect from an art magazine. I don't have much to rant about this magazine except for two things. First, I'm quite disappointed about how their (really interesting and fantastic) main feature "Covers Project" was featured. About 1700 Filipino artists submitted their own works and only about, how many, less than 50 (?) got featured. If this was a contest, I'd probly understand. But this was no contest. Also, I know, there were limitations such as page limits and whatnot but it could've been nice if the super gatefold (see photo above) featured a thumbnail preview of all the contributions (think of mosaic). It didn't matter if it was micro-chip small—at least you get to see your work in the magazine. I mean, there's a special deal wherein they would sell the magazine along with artists' works for P3000 and what would the artists get? Just asking. It's for a good cause though, but still. The thumbnail photo could've been really nice. Second, the price! I though P400 is a little too much. It's quite thin compared to other magazines but it is of good quality though. This one I understand more because this mag is new and the costs of producing something like this is not as simple as hitting ctrl+P (cmd+P ? for you Mac people). It just hurt a little to splurge P400 for this mag. I can't totally say that this is not worth your hard-earned penny, although this is one big investment of a magazine, esp for a student (and not a filthy rich one at that) like me. Walang student discount? hehehe Other than that, I find this mag interesting. Although @ P400/quarter, I'm not totally sure if my issue 1 will be followed by issue 2. Surprise me!

MEGA Jan 2009

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I have to commend Mega for always showing up at the newsstands earlier than most mags. The overall look is also nice, although it doesn't stir enough excitement to send one's heart to go doki-doki. At least for me. Steady and almost safe, but far from terribly fugly. Oh yeah, it could use a jolt of youthfulness too cause IMHO, MEGA is on the mature side of things. I also liked the paper/printing too; I don't know but it just feels beautiful and just right. One sad thing though: the runway report. The first page (and the other "openers" ?) looked ok but the next, uh-oh. To be quite honest, it's sad. The collections looked really nice but the way it was presented just didn't do any justice to it. Ok, it's not totally fugly but it's as if the layout was done haphazardly. I'm no design genius but, look at the photos above...I don't think it would take a design genius to feel it's, uh, over-simpleness (?). But the photography of Marlon Pecjo and Sara Black? A saving grace! Surprise us, Mega! :-)

Flow 2
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Flow's sophomore issue was curated by Kenneth Cobonpue. Very cohesive look/feel, great features, fantastic photography, cool art, nice design—I think, like SM, Flow has it all for us! There's no specific grid/consistent design guide but somehow it still looked consistent. As far as text play is concerned, it toned down from last issue. The features were all very interesting too. It's a magazine filled with pages upon pages of inspiration (and information!) They also used different kinds of papers and I think it was clever. Issue two was more my cup of tea and thus, I declare this as my fave issue of Flow so far! As always, it's worth your every penny.

Garage Dec-Jan 09
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As if it read my mind, like Preview, it changed the things I didn't quite like about it and made it better! It now follows a more consistent grid/guide/whatnot all through out making it look consistent. The headlines/titles/subtitles also got a minor face lift. It looks cleaner and more subdued, but not overly strict and formal (just the way I like it!). It has has a better selection of people for the personal style section too—the past ones (not all though) looked as if somebody else styled them. Oh yes, the reworked main font deserves a mention. The (probably) modified Gill Sans font's x-x was really nice touch, IMHO. As always, very nice features, and editorials!! One of the strongest points of Garage is their editorials. The photography and styling is always creative, and IMHO, world class too. Place it with other international titles and I'm sure it would not look out of place. I just hope they would give more attention to their site. Aside from the occasional posts announcing new issues, there's nothing much to see there. But that's not the topic here, hehe. This issue was really really nice, I think.

Garage Dec-Jan 09 Supplement
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Totally out of place by now, but let me put it anyway. The holiday gift guide supplement/pullout looked really nice and it's a super welcome bonus!

Sense and Style Dec-Jan 09
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What I like about Sense and Style is that even though it is (clearly) marketed for women (thus, the tagline "Woman, make a difference"), they still have a lot of "for all sexes" features inside. Compared to other magazines (that feature mostly fem-topics e.g make up, hair, beauty), there's something guys can actually read like stories about new (good) food, local/international travel, new hotels, etc. The editorials too, were nice. A couple of the editorials were shot by foreigners featuring foreign subjects but it's not totally bad I guess (as long as they don't do this too often). The Marc Nicdao+KC eds looked nice, although the styling (at the end part) could really use some level-up-ing. It was the (again Wallpaper* ish) cover that attracted me so, kudos! Overall, a very nice issue.