Vintage Magazine & the Power of Print

vintage_125Though an impromptu visit to your local Barnes & Noble will prove that the print magazine is alive and kicking, you’re also likely to come away with the feeling that none of the hundreds of titles you’ll find there needs to be on paper at all. One of the few periodicals that fully revels in its existence on print is Ivy Baer Sherman’s experiment in eclecticism, Vintage Magazine.

Pop-ups, diecuts, folds, flaps – if it can be done with paper, chances are Sherman’s probably tried it in a magazine that she described to PSFK.com as “a salon — of artists, writers, graphic designers, printers, binders, die-cutters, paper engineers – all gathering together to create a publication of vintage quality. Most importantly, Vintage is a celebration of print and an ongoing exploration of what a magazine can be and do.”

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To attempt a description of the contents of Vintage Magazine is a losing proposition. Sherman herself calls it a portable museum, but it’s probably better described by a line from poet Ted Hughes: “A bang of blood to the brain.”

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Take her description of the planning that went into one issue that featured a Chip Kidd cover:

“My only stipulation was that the magazine’s signature open spine be worked into the design, which was achieved – working hand in hand with the printer and bindery. I selected a paper stock that evokes the feel of vintage linoleum.

“With the concept of Chip’s linoleum cover in place, I designed the issue as a grand home tour…from the floor up. I asked art student Heidi Loening to create doors by which the reader can “enter” – these hand-embroidered doors house the table of contents.”

Yes, that’s just the table of contents!

In short, to be a designer without a copy of Vintage Magazine on your shelf is akin to being an eye doctor without a cross-section-of-the-eye poster on your wall. It’s possible, certainly, but it somehow makes you feel less of a designer.

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