Guest art directed by the Finnish design firm, Kokoro & Moi, this issue is truly an experiment. Throughout our entire feature section we play with notions of magazine design standards. (How should display type be oriented? What does justified text of two or three words per line communicate? What if it doesn’t “say” anything? How crazy is too crazy?) While flipping through this unique issue, you might be intrigued, perhaps enticed, or simply confused, but hopefully you will, indeed, be surprised by every page.
When approaching the design of this issue, Kokoro & Moi like to say they “skewed the aesthetic in surprising ways in relation to the polished design magazine.” Here, we turn on its head the established idea of designers as intermediaries; of their role being that of presenting—to greatest effect—a writer’s words. How do you convey the meaning of those words while also depicting the theme of surprise? We gave Kokoro & Moi free reign to interpret the content in their own way and create their own visual language. And, one can argue, what we did with our feature well could only be possible in a design magazine.
From our first meeting in New York to a last-minute addition of connect-the-dots via iChat, we found that Kokoro & Moi’s penchant for the curious made them the perfect designers for this issue. Says co-founder Teemu Suviala, “We are interested in randomness because of the big opportunities it entails.” They are masters of generating the unexpected—and, as you’ll see here, they certainly defy conventions. For many of the elements in this issue, you will find no rational explanation: just another layer (on top of a layer) . Perhaps you’ll recognize, when you least expect to, meta-level connections in the details. Or perhaps they’re all just decoys. Like the art showcased in the “Unknown Ends” feature—work for which the artists didn’t know the end result before its execution—we embrace the unknown. We put this issue in your hands look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Through Boundaries — Dialogue with Paola Antonelli
6 Tips to Simplify Your Website’s Design
State Mottos: A Designers’ Atlas
Hand Drawn Illustration Competition Winners
Playtype: Open for Business
Shoeboxes Go Green
Interview with MacFadden & Thorpe