Stack Awards 2018: Best Use of Illustration

by Grace Wang in October 2018
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Art & design

Searching for the most characterful illustrations in independent magazines, this category of the Stack Awards looks at illustrated content in its entirety. To help us find the winner, we have enlisted the help of Jon Cockley, founder of illustration agency Handsome Frank, and Simon Armstrong, book buyer for Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Tate Liverpool.

Scroll down below to see the 15 titles shortlisted in this category.

A Profound Waste of Time | London

Accessing feelings and thoughts about video games, APWOT is one of this year’s most exciting new launches. It uses illustration to show the vibrancy of the video games it covers, immersing readers in fantastical worlds rather than just showing screenshots or press pictures.


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And so it begins. APWOT will be sent out at the end of May. Pre-order on our website!#magazine #editorial #illustration #games #gaming #videogames #shovelknight #independentpublishing

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Anonymous Sex Journal | San Francisco

Anonymous Sex Journal publishes personal sex stories submitted by readers in secret. This includes rude, personal and often hilarious illustrations sketching out the various titillating encounters.


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*SOLD OUT* ~ Last batch of The Anonymous Sex Journal #6 shipped over to @iangiles who will be peddling the remaining copies of the zine at the @printedmatterinc New York Art Book (Sept 21-23) alongside his #AfterButt publication. Another issue of ASJ in the works “The Old-Age Issue, or Sex Over Sixty” coming soon.. #theanonymoussexjournal

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Anxy | Berkeley

Anxy is a mental health magazine with honest, open discussions on our inner worlds. Using shape-driven, vividly coloured illustrations, their contributors paint images of what emotions feel like on paper.


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GIVEAWAY CLOSED We’re giving away THREE PAIRS of tickets to our Issue No. 3 release party in New York next Wednesday 10/10! You and a friend will get to meet our founder, Indhira Rojas, and talk to artists and writers who helped create The Boundaries Issue. To enter, just tag an Anxy friend in the comments below. We’ll pick winners this Friday 10/5. Best of luck! __________________________________________________ #mentalhealth #magazine #indiemagazine #printmagazine #publication #magazinedesign #mentalhealthmatters #psychology #selfawareness #selfcare #personalstories #photography #creativewriting #designinspiration #newyorkcity #nyc #weareanxy #nycevents #instagiveaway #freetickets

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Beneficial Shock! | Wiltshire

Illustrated explorations of cinema live on the pages of Beneficial Shock!, the bold, humour-packed title by two teachers at Bristol School of Art and Design.


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The full wrap around cover of the Sex Issue depicting a raucous, rowdy and somewhat naughty film set illustrated by @philwrigglesworth. Now available at our online store and all good Indy magazine shops around the globe! #indymags #illustration #cinema #film #sex #coverart #editorialdesign

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Counterpoint | Edinburgh

Risograph-printed on rough, toothy paper, Counterpoint sees illustration as equally important as written content. Their clever use of overlaying and self-imposed colour restrictions encourages all sorts of imagination and creativity.


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Hey guys look I took some fancy pictures! Cover illustration: Rachel Tunstall Dragon illustration: Bethan Woollvin Mother & baby: Susie Purvis Background is @colorplan_papers

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Ephemeral | Norwich

Ephemeral is an illustration and graphic arts magazine, created and directed by contributors that use the definition of ephemerality to explore interesting subjects.


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Issue 1 is currently on sale online. Link in bio #illustration #publication #haircut #magazine #zine #design #norwich #barber #hair

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Eyeyah | Singapore

With the aim of teaching children about graphic design and creativity, Eyeyah is a magazine with eye-catching illustration and printed puzzles. Their issues explore topics like social media and junk food.


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In celebration of Teacher’s Day We are giving away free copies of EYEYAH! to all your favourite Teachers. Tag a Teacher friend and tell them to get in touch so we can send them a copy!! #teachersday #eyeyaheducation

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Gentle Rain | Hamburg

Gentle Rain is a magazine about Hamburg. It looks at co-existence in urban spaces, talking to people in the city and around it to show how they live and work.


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gentle rain issue three is out in the woods. You can catch one online, get it in our favourite magazine shops or let your local bookstore order it for you. #waterproof

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New Philosopher | Hobart

An Australian antidote to the over-saturation of ‘content’, New Philosopher is a quarterly magazine that brings together heavyweight thinkers to discuss the big issues of the day.


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New Philosopher issue 21 ‘Power’ Available Now! Artwork by @studiocarreras #newphilosophermagazine #newphilosopher #power #womankindmag #poettea #poetstore #hobart #tasmania

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The Nib | New York

A brand new print magazine published by First Look Media, The Nib mixes investigative journalism, graphic memoir and comic strips to present an illustrated view of the world.


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We’re proud to unveil the cover of the Death issue by illustrator Oliver Hibert! Swipe over to see some of the cool stuff that’ll be included in the issue, and subscribe to our magazine – link in our bio!

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Oogst | Antwerp

Encouraging each artist to treat the magazine as if it’s their own work, Oogst gives illustrators a ‘blank canvas’ for each issue. For this final issue, they worked with South African illustrator Olivié Keck to show off her colourful strokes and dark undertones.

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Dames en heren, de cover van het magazine dat postuum genomineerd werd voor de #StackAwards 2018. Prachtig bij elkaar getekend door @oliviekeck. Op 19 november weten we of we gewonnen hebben in de categorie Best Use of Illustration #art #magazines #illustration #printisnotdead

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Sassify Zine | London

Sassify seeks out exclusive perspectives on fresh ideas, providing a platform for voices largely ignored by the mainstream.


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I will have lots of zines and pins down @creativedebuts Anti-Zine art fair 5-7th October. Grab a ticket now to come see loads of fantastic illustrative delights. Discounts available. @peckhamsprings @_theotherbox Expect to see and experience work from international artists and designers who are disillusioned from the status quo, including immersive installations, feminist and LGBT art, and innovative techniques and styles from the stars of tomorrow. #TAAF #theantiartfair #zinefair #zinemakers #zine #peckhamsprings #artfair #diversity #London #inclusive #art #artists #sassifyzine #buffy pin #buffythevampireslayer #buffyslays #slay #pinstagram #pingame #murdershewont #murdershewrote #angelalansbury #jessicafletcher #gay #queer #queertopia #gender #identity #sexuality #zine #printisntdead

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She is Fierce | Edinburgh

Challenging mainstream media’s portrayal of young women, She Is Fierce forgoes cover models to let one ‘resident artist’ take the reins.


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s u n d a y hope you lovely lot have had a fun weekend?! I’m in full prep mode for the heatwave that’s a’coming to Scotland (finally) next week. Love this shot of our CARE/LESS issue by @hollyyolivia need these sunglasses in my life, pronto. Buy the mags via the link in bio

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Umber | Oakland

Umber has an emphasis on a visual narrative from the perspective of people of colour. Issue two features vector-based graphics, infographics, portrait illustrations and digital collages.


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IT’S HERE!!! Issue 2 “The Tactile Relationship” is in print and will be available starting June 9th for our lucky release party RSVPs! Pre-orders accepted now at (Release party nearly sold out in week 1, but we were able to add 25 additional tickets. Click link in bio to snag one now!) ______________________________________ @umbermagazine, the creative thinker’s graphic journal, is a printed magazine created from the perspective of Black and Brown people. Official media sponsor of 2018 @sfdesignweek #sfdesignweek2018 #designweek #sanfran #oakland #publishing #independent #blackowned #IndieMagazine #design #culture #ArtMagazine #DesignMagazine #graphicdesign #printedmagazine #blackcreative #PeopleofColor #UmberMagazine #IssueTwo #ReleaseParty #CoverArt

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Weapons of Reason | London

Tackling the biggest challenges faced by our world today, Weapons of Reason informs through digestible reading that will leave you inspired to take positive action. The magazine uses illustration to artfully break down complicated graphs and statistics.


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It’s here! The Food issue of Weapons of Reason is back from the printers and looking amazing! Filled with brilliant illustration, data-viz and journalism, it’s on sale now and you can buy your own copy from @weaponsofreason is an award-winning #independentmagazine published by @humanafterallstudio in #London. #illustration #editorialillustration #editorialdesign #magazinedesign #graphicdesign #indiemags #print #food

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