Leave Your Guns at the Garden

Call me old-fashioned, but I like to keep gardens and guns separate. I thought everyone did. So it came as quite a surprise when I was sent a copy of Garden & Gun magazine, an elegantly designed bimonthly, which began publishing over a year ago.

For those of us snarky Northerners who are likely to make sarcastic comments about the South and the title of the magazine, Garden & Gun is for real. It is a “glossy look at ’21st Century Southern America’ with an emphasis on Southern traditions, heritage and lifestyle, particularly outdoors,” wrote The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette back in 2007. Articles on bird hunting, gardening, sailing, horses, and fishing, among other lifestyle themes, abound. And in case you’re still skeptical, Garden & Gun, headquartered in Charleston, SC, is headed by publisher Rebecca Darwin, former publisher of The New Yorker and Mirabella.

What does this tell us about magazines today? Well, dual-themed magazines may be the next big thing: How about Health & Wealth, for the aging, upper-middle-class baby boomer; or, for the twenty-something gourmet, Food & Dude; or, for the frequent DWI offender, Car & Bar.

Commenters, what would your dual-themed magazine be called? And if you’ve read Garden & Gun, what do you think?

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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