The perfect Remedy

by Andrew Losowsky in March 2011
Share on Facebook, Twitter or Copy Link

Yet another bumper Stack America mailing this month, with not one but two magazines, a free poster, and an exclusive print by Khoi Vinh (of which more soon).

First up, is the small, yet beautifully formed Remedy Quarterly. It’s a story- and recipe-based magazine out of Brooklyn, with each issue using just one major and one minor color. It looks lovely, and it tastes delicious. We found out more about its vital ingredients from Kelly Carámbula, RQ’s editor.

Whose idea was it, and how did they come up with it?
It was a group effort. Our co-founder Jillian Bergman called me one evening after having a conversation about home remedies with her crossing guard (which turned into a story in Issue 1). She was inspired, and wanted to see if I would be interested in helping her make a book that chronicled home remedies.

I liked the idea, but felt like there were similar food stories that could be told in much the same way, and that might give us more material to work with. One thing led to another, and the book about remedies turned into a quarterly magazine about food memories and the recipes that inspire them.

How many people work on the mag?
It’s a bit of a community effort. I do all the design, most of the illustration, photography and distribution. My husband and partner in Remedy, Aaron, designed all the headline typography for the magazine and helps with the distribution.

We have some great, talented friends who help us with the editing. Luckily we also have great contributors who are starting to share more than stories, such as Michael Harlan Turkell’s photography in Issue 3 and Tuesday Bassen’s great illustrations in Issue 4.

What reactions have you been getting?
We feel really lucky that we have such great readers. It’s a great feeling to check our email and see a letter from one of our readers telling us how much they enjoy the magazine.

One of the goal’s of Remedy Quarterly was to bring together a community of people who love food. Whether it’s something as simple as a cold remedy your grandma made from onion and sugar (Issue 1) to walking through a french market, tasting morsels from each vendor (Issue 2), we feel everyone has a story to share and we’re thrilled to have a printed publication where people can do that.

That being said, we’re always looking for new subscribers!

Remedy is two color, with a different prominent main color each time. Why?
Some of our biggest inspirations when we created RQ were community cookbooks, which often have a colored cover and simple, black-and-white, hand-typed recipes, and vintage Betty Crocker-type cookbooks that often have two-color illustrations that mingle with black and white recipes. That style just resonated with us and felt right for a community-driven publication.

Also, as a graphic designer in a world where it’s so easy to whip up a four-color glossy magazine in no time, it felt like a real challenge to be constrained by two colors. We like challenges!

What is it about food that makes people tell stories?
Well, it’s something that everyone has experienced. We all grew up with favorite (and not-so-favorite) foods, some passed down by generations. Tasting that food as an adult, our senses have a way of taking us back to those memories that often have great, or at least interesting, stories attached to them.

If you had an unlimited budget, how different would the magazine be?
Wow, I’ve never thought about that. To be honest, it’s really close to where we want it to be. The size, the colors, the stories and interviews, they all fit within our vision, to have a community-supported, community-driven magazine that is easy to curl up with and inspire you.

Of course we’d love to pay our contributors, not worry about how we’re going to pay for the next issue, and throw parties. That would be pretty awesome!

Where next for Remedy Quarterly?
We’re ready to take on the world! We’re excited to have our first intern this summer, Ellen, who’s going to help us get better distribution (we love independent bookstores!) and she’ll also help us keep up with our blog a bit more.

We’re also working on tweaking a few things within the magazine for Volume 2, such as introducing new typefaces and unexpected elements. We’re looking to have a little more fun.

Close Icon

Join our magazine club! Subscribe to Stack and every month we'll pick a different independent title and deliver it to your door. You never know what you'll get next...

Subscribe now