Upon Paper is not a magazine, its makers are keen to point out - "It's a biannual in an extra-large format, curated like an art portfolio." Extra large it certainly is - published by Hahnemühle FineArt, the publication emphasises the physicality of the paper through sheer size, measuring 49cm×69cm. These large sheets are held together with a cotton-covered elastic band rather than being stitched, stapled or glued together, which allows them to be separated into larger spreads. In issue two, the team had some fun with that, printing a colourful still life by David Bailey as a pull-out poster, and inserting the left hand of a Hermann Nitsch spread several pages before the article on him began.
Issue two of Upon Paper, which came out in autumn and was themed ‘Colour', saw the magazine really hitting its stride, with photographers such as Nick Knight, Benjamin Alexander Huseby, William Eggleston, Wolfgang Tillmans, Erwan Frotin and Gavin Watson all contributing images, some of which were shot specially for Upon Paper. Issue one is also worth a look, though - themed ‘LA', it includes some nice touches such as spreads from John Severson's surf magazines and Jack Pierson's book, Angel Youth. Put together by a creative team that includes Paul Hetherington (creative director of Nick Knight's SHOWStudio project from 1999-2009), Anja Aronowsky-Cronberg (former editor of Acne Paper and current editor-in-chief of Vestoj) and photographer Holger Homann, Upon Paper also clearly knows its way around the photography world, including interviews with figures such as publisher and bookseller Markus Schaden as well as many of the photographers involved.
Spread from Upon Paper.
A limited-edition photographic print is launched with each issue (sold separately); Hahnemühle advertises the fact that the print is on its Photo Rag 308gsm paper but otherwise manfully resists advertising itself or the paper Upon Paper is printed on. There's hardly any advertising in either of the issues, meaning each of the 80 pages per magazine is filled with thoughtful editorial content. The magazine is distributed in Europe and the US; if you can't find a copy, you can buy or read it online.
High street clothes shop Cos sees itself as a design house with a modern and minimal aesthetic; that aspiration is clearly evident in its customer magazine, which is freely available in its stores. Edited by Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom, the team behind the critically acclaimed Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman magazines, Cos Magazine features many of these publications' regulars, including photographers such as Maurice Scheltens and Liesbeth Abbenes, Willy Vanderperre, Benjamin Alexander Huseby and Zoe Ghertner. The latest issue, A/W 2012, also features an interview with fashion photography power couple Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin by Penny Martin, influential editor-in-chief of The Gentlewoman.
Spread from Cos Magazine.
Cos Magazine is published quarterly and, at 84 pages plus covers, is a reasonably substantial slightly-wider-than-A4 read. It also mixes up coloured paper stock with cream, though designer Jenny Eneqvist, who has also worked on Fantastic Man, The Gentlewoman and Foto8 magazine, has favoured the refined style and colour palette of these titles. Also like Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman, Cos Magazine does not shy away from black-and-white photography. Vanderperre's 23-page fashion shoot in the A/W 2012 edition mixes up delicate pastel shades and monochrome, for example, with some of the latter printed on orange/brown-coloured paper. The Cos label is unapologetically there - the fashion and accessories shoots only contain Cos products, for example - but there is enough editorial content to make the publication feel like much more than just a catalogue.
Hector is issue two of Hostem store's customer magazine; issue one was called Sebastian and issue three will have another name again, because each publication represents "a different type of man". Hostem is a menswear store in east London, so the emphasis is on fashion, but there is other content too. The front cover of Hector features a shot from Pascal Fellonneau's series Candidates, which shows defaced posters of politicians from the recent French election, while David Moore's series The Last Things shows a secret military bunker in central London. This issue is preoccupied with "protest, for protest's sake".
Spread from Hector.
Where fashion is featured, though, it's done with flair - Blommers/Schumm's series Physiological Illusions uses an optical illusion that means the images initially look like black-and-white stripes; and Koen Hauser and Ruth van Beek's shoot is a collage of contemporary fashion photography and vintage photographs. Issue one, Sebastian, featured a front cover and a fashion shoot by Asger Carlsen, plus Wolfgang Tillmans' archive shot Lutz and Alex sitting in the trees (1992). Added to this are interviews with heavyweights from the art world, with a lean towards photography - Sebastian included an interview with Maureen Paley of the eponymous photography gallery; Hector includes an interview with Courtauld Institute academic, Julian Stallabrass, curator of the 2008 Brighton Photo Biennial.
It's put together by people in the know - editor-in-chief Matthew Holroyd is creative director of hip new ‘erotic paperback' Baron and head honcho at Vague Paper, and features editor Dorothée Perret used to edit Purple Fashion magazine. Like all customer magazines, the publication has little advertising to deal with, but what there is, is tastefully done, and Hostem takes the inside front and back covers for full-page ads.
At 226 pages, A3 size and with hardback covers, it almost feels unfair to call Victor a magazine. Its publishers, Hasselblad, might agree because they call it "Photography Book One". In practice it's more like a photography biannual, because it takes the form of a series of portfolios - 12 in total, including work by Edward Burtynsky, Anton Corbijn and Mark Zibert. Stephen Toner, photographer, creative director for House (Soho House's magazine) and founder of EXIT, is the editor-in-chief and creative director, and he's taken a nice approach to separating the portfolios - using brown, matte paper to introduce the photographers and glossy paper for the full-page images. At the end of each series, he has also included a useful page of thumbnails, carrying the page numbers on which they appeared, and image captions.
This end page also states which Hasselblad camera each photographer uses, and many of the profiles include their thoughts on why they use Hasselblad products. Hasselblad also has two double-page ads, but what's interesting is the calibre of the other advertising - Chanel, Paul Smith, Margaret Howell and Le Book. Victor is on sale "from exclusive magazine retailers" in London, Milan, Berlin, Madrid, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong, and while the main magazine is in English, it carries translations in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese at the back.
As for the content, Tim Flach's 16-page story More than Human, a series of animal portraits, shows off every hair and feather in incredible detail. Damon Loble's Personal Visitation is a bit too retro erotica, but Ripley & Ripley's Automotive does old-fashioned in a good way.
Spread from Victor.
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