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 Magazine. 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.