Top 6 Under-the-Radar Creativity & Design Magazines you must read

Since I’m constantly in search of interesting, quirky and off-the-hook creativity and design magazines, it only makes sense to share my latest finds here.

Halo Magazine by Central Saint Martins

Picture 4A little known fact- Central Saint Martin’s School of Art & Design, puts out an excellent, well-researched magazine with unique stories on innovation and design. Also, the largely UK/ Europe perspective is refreshing and much appreciated.

As a Creativity magazine, Halo doesn’t necessarily get high points for sexy, eye-catching design but the content is pretty top-notch. The most recent, Innovation, issue includes snippets of unique art and fashion collabs and exhibitions. Definitely check it out. (And applaud the efforts of the students!)

8 Faces – Typography Magazine

Picture 5This is a more recent find – and only two issues old. I have not personally read it but any magazine that is sold out in under an hour has to belong on this list by default! On a more serious note, I like the concept of 8 Faces because it’s quite refreshing to see a specific, thematic approach to content. In this case, the magazine explores one core question – if you had to use only eight typefaces for the rest of your life, which would you use and why? The magazine poses this question to eight leading designers from diverse fields and creates a visually stunning portrait of the responses. It is a bi-annual publication and will be made available online as a PDF once all the 2500 copies are sold out.

Abe’s Penny

Picture 6I came across this litle gem on Cynthia Rowley’s blog. Abe’s Penny is not a traditional magazine – more of a collectible. Published by sisters, Anne and Tess Knoebel, Abe’s Penny launched a little over a year ago. The magazine features a series of weekly post-cards that feature a new story each month. The narrative unfolds in sequence, as a combination of photos and text. The most recent issue features photographs by Massimo Vitali and a story by James Yeh. With such high-profile power creatives on its mast-head, this magazine belongs more on your walls than on your coffee-tables. (PS – They also recently launched Abe’s Peanut– a micro-zine for children)

Lonny Magazine

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Launched about a year ago, Lonny is a purely digital magazine that still retains the best elements of the print magazine which is bewitching photography and artwork. This might not be as under-the-radar as the other magazines – Founded by Michelle Adams and Patrick Cline, both alumni of Dwell and a bunch of other interior magazines, Lonny has a fiercely individualistic tonality. I’m a huge fan of its Facebook fan page as well. Lonny has also amazingly managed to secure some pretty high profile advertisers to sponsor its magazine – providing a fully offline experience, online.

Design Mind

Picture 9design mind has been one my favorite go-to resources for inspiration and inquiry. An editorial product of the eminent innovation and design firm, frog design, Design Mind examines a cultural theme with each issue from “Work-Life” to “Numbers” and “Motion” to ‘The Substances of things not seen.” It is entirely written and designed by the frog employees  and often features celebrity guest writers. While the print version is only published thrice a year, the online website is updated daily with ideas and perspectives on emerging trends, technologies and culture.

I highly recommend this magazine for times when you are totally tapped out of inspiration and are looking to inject fresh energy in your thinking.

Patterns & Designs On

Picture 10Picture 11Who isn’t a fan of IDEO? Both Patterns and Designs On are a treat as they not only expose the IDEO process and thinking, but offer actionable insights. Pattern, just launched in 2009, has already published a handful of issues, all available online and as easy download-able pdf’s, Patterns shares insights and ideas that are universal across most IDEO projects. Designs On, is also a PDF digital booklet, but it explores actual solutions to world’s most pressing challenges. Both these magazines offer new insights and a peek into the IDEO process.

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