on magazines

Friday, October 24, 2014


When I was 17, I stopped reading magazines.
It was an easy decision, really – not paying £6 a month for a glossy, floppy book of generic advertising and thinly-veiled criticism.
In many ways it was too late; the damage has been done. Lacking in role models I’d accepted the words too easily, believing them to be a guide to successful womanhood.
I’m still trying to unlearn the worst of it now.

At university I played a small part in creating an independent women’s zine, & quickly got a better understanding of why there was so little variation across the industry. Professionally printed, our awesome booklet of stories, comment & photography looked like a primary school newsletter. Nobody would take it seriously without the gloss, and we couldn’t afford the gloss without replacing most of the content with advertising.

The internet has changed that, and it’s glorious. Print-on-demand and easy access to software means small groups of inspired people can now create amazing publications that put Cosmo in the murky corner where quite frankly, it belongs.

The success of Kinfolk et al is a happy representation of the democratizing power of the internet, where writing and photography are making magazines profitable, instead of wall-to-wall advertising. It’s a huge, if quiet, revolution.

Earlier this month I received a copy of Volume One of In Clover, a new magazine from here in the UK. It’s a completely different animal to those sticky perfumed glossies; full of beauty, wit, thought and inspiration, with fresh thought given to everything from typography & layout to promotion. Some beautiful photogragraphy by Saskia Lawson shows that women have far more beauty before they are airbrushed into illustrations, freckles and stray hairs and all. It’s definitely one to watch.

What new generation magazines are you reading? Does anyone still buy the monthly glossies, and if yes, how do you think they compare?

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  • August 10, 2023

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  • Sara

  • July 11, 2015

Yes that would be amazing! If it’s not too much trouble for you. As much as I love minimalism I am a total book and magazine hoarder so you won’t get any judgement from me! LOL xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • July 11, 2015

Hi Sara! Actually, I think I do. Want me to see if I can dig it out for you? (so much for minimalism, hey?) X

  • Sara

  • July 10, 2015

Hi Sara. Do you still have this issue of In Clover? I can’t seem to find the first issue and I’d love to read it.

  • At№67 Concept Store

  • April 23, 2015

Currently into Kinfolk and Cereal, recently also considering Gentlewoman. Thank you for the recommendation on In Clover, looks tempting 🙂
Marta | http://www.atnumber67.co.uk

  • Lizonbleu

  • November 24, 2014

Love your post about magazines because I feel the same. Your blog and gallery on IGR are really wonderful! Before reading this, I was wandering about Kinfolk but now I’m sure to have a subscription, even with my very bad English!

  • Sara

  • November 08, 2014

Hello! Thanks for getting in touch – I’ll send you an email! 🙂

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  • November 05, 2014

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  • Sara

  • October 28, 2014

Thanks for the recommendations, Lauren! I had a subscription to Oh Comely and I enjoyed it a lot, but now I can’t remember a single thing about it! Not sure if that’s a reflection on the magazine or my state of mind at the time! ha! x

  • lauren

  • October 26, 2014

I don’t actually have any subscriptions at the particular moment but I have had loads over the years. Currently my favourite magazines to pick up are Oh Comely, The Simple Things, Frankie and (to satisfy my design side) Computer Arts!
Lauren // OhHay Blogs!

  • Sara

  • October 25, 2014

I do adore be photography in Cereal, though I tend to get my fix online usually. What do you make of the content?

Ah yes, I don’t know why I never jht into buying specific interest mags. Maybe because my interests are never specific enough? *likes ALL THE THINGS*

  • Sara

  • October 25, 2014

Oh wow, there’s quite a few on here I haven’t even heard of! I’m planning on asking for a couple of subscriptions as Christmas presents this year – sounds like I need to do some research.
I’d definitely add ‘darling’ to that list. It’s a wonderful read, specifically for women x

  • Emma Gutteridge

  • October 25, 2014

Definitely going to look out for that one. I buy Cereal (mainly for the photography), and they’re not new generation but sometimes Wallpaper and the British Journal of Photography as well as picking up a couple when I’m at the photographers gallery. There is nothing better than plonking myself in my favourite cat scratched armchair and flicking through a mag, I love the smell.

  • Emma

  • October 25, 2014

Ok, here’s my list for you, in advance of my blog post! In Clover, Kinfolk, Cereal, Ernest, Cherry Bombe, The Plant Journal, Tiny Atlas and Another Escape! Let me know if you know any others?

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