All these magazine launches, you’d think people had been reading some of
our stuff about now being the time to do it. Sadly, neither Minx, a
Loaded for lasses, nor Eat Soup, a Loaded for grown-ups, has crossed my
desk yet - I welcome almost any magazine launch that doesn’t have ‘PC’
or ‘Mac’ in the title.
The relaunched Punch arrived with a whimper, reminding us all of why it
was closed down. I’d say it is disappointing, but that would imply that
we’d expected anything better. It is laboured, lacks relevance, and
contains the same old names, and even then - Peter Tory, Joe Haines -
not ones you’d want to read. Does anyone really give a fig about the
I’ve always hated Peter McKay’s column in the Evening Standard, but it
made for compulsive reading and was never dreary. Perhaps, eventually,
he will build Punch more in his own likeness. For now, he will be
grateful that Punch is owned by a rich tycoon with a desperate need to
own media, and not a public media company. What did advertisers like
Bang and Olufsen, BMW, Ford, and Beck’s think?
Am I in Punch’s target market? Perhaps on an overhead projector a year
ago in Soho. However, Wallpaper’s got me bang to rights, and was a very
pleasant surprise. Devised by the 12-year-old Tyler Bržle, it’s aimed at
people who grew up on 80s fashion-related style magazines. Ignoring all
the usual pretentious drivel in the PR bumf, the pretentious drivel in
the mag itself is spot on.
A big thumbs-up for accessible features on architecture, plywood and
speaker design. Great regular ideas: the big trip, interesting and
practical food recipes and, best of all, the design-your-own-pad
feature. They can come up my stairs any time. My only quibbles were with
an eight-page feature on kitchen utensils which was entirely
illustrated, and a scary headline which sang out: ‘Death of the Two-Hour
Lunch.’ Sorry? Been in a restaurant at lunchtime recently? Also, will
the ‘travel’ bit jar increasingly with the ‘living’ bit?
Best of all, Wallpaper is a design-related magazine which is beautifully
designed, with refreshingly clean lines, legible typography and good
photography (the challenge of plywood was well met). Advertisers such as
VH-1, Habitat and Nissan Micra all produced stylish ads, and will know
exactly who is reading Wallpaper.
All this, and then the anally retentive Conde Nast has a funny turn,
announcing two magazines in a week. I’d feel warmer towards GQ Active if
the pilot editor had not been the very same sadistic gym instructor who
managed to put me off working out. As for Traveller (850,000 US
circulation, two ‘l’s in the UK), apparently Nicholas Coleridge had been
biked applications from 50 prospective editors within 24 hours. It’s not
going to fail is it? Exciting times in magazine land.