Songwriter Jamie Cullum (curator) and designer Kate Monument (creative director) had long wanted to start a magazine. Monument and Anna-Marie Crowhurst (editor) worked together for 10 years and also had talked about “how lovely it would be to create something independent that didn’t have creative restrictions,” says Crowhurst. Then Cullum decided he wanted something amazing to sell at various venues that reflected the things he enjoyed, like film and photography, bats, gaming, swords, donuts, aging and the spirit world. The result is a delightful and feisty indie mag titled The Eighty-Eight. A limited-edition first issue received enough encouragement that they produced the current second issue. Crowhurst tells us more about this ink-on-paper gem.
Who is your audience?
People who love to read emerging and brilliant writers, are into fresh design and illustration and are curious about culture, music, history and the weirdness of the world. People who think print magazines aren’t dead. People who love a neon fifth color and think it would look nice on their bookshelf. People who have bookshelves. People who have a very silly sense of humor.
What do you want this audience to take away from the publication?
We just hope it interests, amuses or entertains them for an hour or so, really. And that they might be inspired to discover some of the writers and illustrators’ other work—we’ve commissioned some people that we really love such as novelist Evie Wyld and poet/illustrator Matthew the Horse.
The design is very cheery and fresh. Is their any kind of rationale you’d like to share?
Well, thanks. Kate, the creative director, is a cheery kind of person, and she’s also very into interesting color palettes and great at discovering talented new illustrators and cool new fonts, so I think it’s that in part. Jamie wanted the magazine to have a design that reflected him and his tastes, and that looked very different from anything else available. Having been a magazine editor for 15 years I really appreciate a space where there is freedom to experiment with ideas and be really creative.
Why do a magazine at this time in history?
You mean in the digital age? Personally, I’m a big reader and I know Jamie is too. Though I work across digital and print and have a Kindle (wow, check me out), I still think that having something tactile to read, curl up with, take on the train is—how can I put this—better. We’re all fans of intelligent independent magazines like McSweeney’s who do interesting things with format and really create desirable ‘things’ that people want to handle/have on their bookshelf/coffee table, as well as read. But that’s not to say we’re limiting ourselves to a magazine—we’re also hoping that we can translate The Eighty-Eight into other media: We have recently created a The Eighty-Eight website that we’re hoping to develop—and we’re programming an event at the Design Museum in September.
What’s in store for your next issue?
We don’t know yet! It all starts when the editorial team sits down with Jamie to brainstorm ideas … follow our Twitter and Instagram for updates! @the88journal
How’s it doing?
Well, Volume 2 has only just come out, but the demand for it was such that we had to print something like four times as many as the last issue, which is incredible. We’re now stocked in the U.S. too—Barnes & Noble and Hudson News, as well as Waterstones and WH Smith here, Stack Magazines, the Tate Modern, Magma, the Design Museum and independent stores. The feedback on social so far has been incredible—people seem to like Instagramming photos of it in situ. So we think really well. It was a real labor of love that involved a lot of emails, a lot of late nights and a lot of wine—so we just hope that people like it as much as we do!
PRINT’s Summer 2015 Issue: Out Now!
The New Visual Artists are here! In this issue, meet our 2015 class of 15 brilliant creatives under 30. These carefully selected designers are on the scene making the most cutting-edge work today—and as many of our previous NVAs, they may go on to become tomorrow’s design leaders. Why not get to know them now? Check the full issue out here.