Monday, November 15, 2010

For the Love of Print

Just when I had decided to severely limit the number of print magazines I subscribe to, I ran across mention (can't remember where now) of a new effort called Anthology (subtitled "Living with substance & style"). The initial attraction was the inaugural issue's theme "The Slow Life: Relax and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter." I'm a sucker for slow anything, so I succumbed.

My first issue arrived last week, and it turns out to be far more evocative and interesting than any shelter/design magazine I've encountered in years (with the possible exception of Selvedge)--and I'm both familiar with most of them and very choosy about the ones I pay attention to. Most of these I can read in the school library, like American Bungalow, Style 1900, Old House Journal, and Natural Home. I still occasionally pick up a copy of the British edition of Country Living, but have weaned myself completely from Martha Stewart Living, figuring that after fifteen years she didn't have that much more to offer me. Gone, too, are the subscriptions to Eating Well, La Cucina Italiana, and Cooking Light.

If I find myself going back to these old friends more than once in a while, I'll look for digital subscriptions. But since I don't toss 'em when I've finished with them (I usually recycle after I've excised interesting material), they had become a burden. It was clear that I was never really going to do anything with all of those articles anyway, even 99% of the recipes, so out they went. Some of them, like American Bungalow, were just too nice to pitch, so they've been shelved for future use and enjoyment.

I had pretty much vowed to subscribe online from now on whenever possible, but when I saw Anthology, and started reading the blog, the whole "print is not dead" notion began to resonate. After all, I am a great magazine sniffer from way back (see the comments on Esopus from a couple of years ago) and this one smells great. It's also full of quirky craftsmanship, eclectic design, and really interesting-sounding people. Check out the video introducing the first issue, with some cardboard sculpture I found particularly amusing:

Print Is Not Dead from Anthology Magazine on Vimeo.

For more cardboard sculpture, see the blog entry about Chris Gilmour.

I guess one reason I like this publication so much is that it combines craft with design; it marries two of my major concerns and it seems to welcome off-center ideas and views of what makes life beautiful. The fact that the creative director, Meg Mateo Ilasco, has also written a book called Crafting a Meaningful Home indicates that there's a real connection to some of the notions I deal with in my blogs, both here and on the Farm.

The admixture of esoteric aesthetics and nostalgia--as well as trendy stuff that's not as attractive to me, but will be to my daughter the designer, makes perusing the magazine itself and its digital augments a pleasure. I'll be looking forward to each issue, and have added the blog to the Cabinet's sidebar.