Another slap in the “magazines are dead or dying” face, is Bracket, an arts and culture journal edited by Felix Ng, who was trained as a journalist but became a designer instead, and co-founded a design practice in 2005. Ng started the firm Anonymous in 2009 as a research facility / think tank with the intent of reinvigorating the industry through initiatives including “A Design Film Festival” and Bracket. In this post Ng answered some queries about this latest designer as entrepreneur project.
What prompted you to start Bracket?
After practicing design for 6 years, I found myself in a situation where we were constantly making more, instead of making better things. This frustration led us to think about what exactly happened and how we might be able to play a small part in changing it. Bracket is conceived as a publication on 8 key issues that surround our creative profession. Ideas, voices and processes that are overlooked and under-appreciated. “Craft,” “Hunger,” “Failure,” “Spirit” and more. We survey creative professionals around the world on common obstacles that we all face.
The DIY format of the interview allow the personalities of the contributors to come through. It also encourages them to provide extremely concise responses, giving their best in one letter sheet size. The responses range from gem insights to catchy one-liners (and at time irreverent rants).
Why do you call it Bracket?
Brackets are commonly used as parentheses in writing to add supplementary information – containing materials that are seen to be dispensable without destroying or altering the meaning of a sentence. The publication covers topics that in modern day, have become seemingly dispensable.
How many do you print and distribute?
We produce a small edition of 1,000 copies in print, and also a digital format in pdf. Bracket is currently stocked in New York, Portland, Berlin and Singapore. We are actively looking for like-minded stores to distribute and stock Bracket. This will tremendously offset the cost of shipping single copies.
I am also passionate about having Bracket available across schools and cultural institutions. We have donated copies to Designspeaks, a non-profit organization in Portland and Seattle – and would like contribute copies to museums and university libraries if possible.
Who is your audience?
Creative professionals who believe that what they do, is more than a job. Individuals who dare to dream of changing the world.
What is your goal as the publication moves forward?
To remain relevant, encouraging and useful.