Print Ain’t Dead Yet (Continued)

What happens if you cross the paper-technology of Esopus with
the typographic quirkiness of the now defunct Nest
The offspring might be the bi-annual Vintage
. Inspired by Fleur Cowles’ Flair (1950-51), the
second issue of Vintage (out now) is an eclectic mix of graphic,
printing and written elements. The cover is embossed (letterpress style)
with an open spine bound with a ribbon and the interior is filled with
an array of special paper effects (pop-ups, booklets, and even an air
sickness bag containing  a booklet devoted to shopping bags).

The creation of editor and publisher Ivy Baer Sherman,
the limited-run second issue, devoted to the “historic impact of art,
music, fashion and food,” “riffs” on an ode by Gary Giddens to the
manual typewriter. The cover “celebrates the tossed-away drafts of
pre-digital writing by opening up to a poem printed on a piece of
hand-crumpled paper.”

Typographically awkward with its share of way too many clunky and legibly-challenged layouts, Vintage
nonetheless is curiously engaging in terms of its tactility. For me it
represents the end-of-print era magazine, where spectacle is the means
to trigger interest in the text. I was particularly interested in Kate
Winick’s article on New York’s storied Carlyle Hotel, and the unusual
article on Laurent Grimod de la Reyniere (1758-1837), the first “public
food critic.” While the magazine doesn’t hold together as a total
entity, the individual parts have a certain flair.

Vintage is $20 per issue, and worth collecting, not just to read and view, but as an example of this “Ain’t Dead Yet” period.

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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.