“Please draw me something. Show me. Then start making and see what happens.” — Hamish Muir
Obsessive Compulsive Self-Publish is a very special issue. It was produced in response to that peculiar, passionate impulse so many graphic designers feel to self-publish. Whether it is the pressure of the job, the limitations of the client, the desire for complete control or the curiosity to experiment, its a compulsion that drives many of us to late nights and weekends in the studio, doing our own thing.
In the spirit of this liberty, 30 pages of this unique issue were handed over to seven designers who are also publishers in some form. From the lofi to the independent and monetised, these designer publishers commissioned, designed and filled the pages with their own take on the theme. The result is a highly unusual, engaging and visually diverse magazine, far beyond anything we have ever done before. And to carry the theme through, we printed all the contributor’s pages using Risography, using the knowledge and expertise of Melbourne’s Dawn Press.
The designers who contributed to this issue all aproached the theme and freedom offered to them very differently. In our Longform section, Hamish Muir, of MuirMcNeil, passionately advocates the benefits of the ‘doing’ and ‘making’ design, over thinking and talking about it. Dan Rule was invited to investigate and write about Formist — Mark Gowing’s relatively new independent publishing venture, with the colourful layout of the article designed by Gowing himself. Rob Cordiner, of Smalltime Books, approached his spread as a visual only, appearing ti reference the financial accessibility of self-publishing and riso printing.
Erik Brandt used his 3 pages as he would in his Ficcionnes Typografika space — a physical space to introduce and broadcast ideas to the world. Brandt discusses his Ficconnes Typografika project, with few words and many overprinted images.
Stuart Geddes, of Chase & Galley, decided to discuss the issue itself, and the wider impacts and effects of publishing, in a transcribed conversation with desktop editor Bonnie Abbott. Geddes, a graphic designer known for his publishing work, also designed the spread.
Jessica Lowe from Cat People Magazine chats to half of London-based creative agency Suburbia, Lee Swillingham(of The Face), about making magazines and growing up in Manchester. With an art director that defined the look of a generation, Lowe investigates his bold, vivacious and self-assured work, and designs her 3 pages in homage to The Face‘s genre-defining publication style.
We also reveal a fresh batch of shortlisted entrants in the lead up to Create Design Awards 2014, featuring entries for the Identity, Illustration, Print Creative, Print Commercial, Signage & Display and Packaging categories, as well as introduce you to Timothy Rodgers on our regular Fresh page.
As a collection, this issue Obsessive Compulsive Self-Publish represents the possibilities of a designer engaged with publishing as an exciting, fulfilling extension of their practice, and celebrates the value it gives back to the design community – a study of itself, free from whim. It is in activities like this that print will remain the ‘enduring ephemera’ of our time.
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