Where does your favourite magazine live?

by Steve Watson in October 2013
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This is the time of year when Christmas gift guides are being written, so I spent a good chunk of today cycling between publishers picking up copies of magazines that are going to be photographed for use in various festive lists.

Apologies to the ones I didn’t make it to – I limited myself to fairly central London locations for the sake of my legs, so the likes of Zoetrope (San Francisco) and Anorak (Walthamstow) have been left out. But that still leaves plenty of great publishers along the way, so here’s a quick Instagram summary of my travels.

First stop of the day was The Church of London, where I picked up current issues of Little White Lies and Huck. Their shop was well stocked as always, but there weren’t many spare copies laying around. That was generally true of all the publishers I visited and can only be a good sign – there’s nothing sadder than a heap of unsold magazines cluttering up the office.

Then it was on to It’s Nice That for a couple of copies of Printed Pages. Note the side view to avoid catching my reflecting in the shiny doors.

More shiny doors at Eye, and the chance to chat with editor John L Walters about the new issue, a typography special. I haven’t had chance to sit down with it yet but I can’t wait to have a read – John’s enthusiasm is infectious and the Letraset story in particular looks fantastic.

VNA is bunking downstairs at Beach gallery in Shoreditch these days, a perfect location for the street art magazine. The Jean Julien exhibition on at the moment is well worth a look too.

I love Boat‘s offices below a working church. I like to think it makes them into a sort of missionary force, heading out to far-flung corners of the globe to preach the word of independent media.

Port was up next, a hive of activity on a quiet back street in Clerkenwell. The office was filled with rails of clothes being prepared for a shoot, with the next issue out early December and a big secret theme in store.

Rouleur has recently moved from Shoreditch to High Holborn, sharing an office on the 10th floor of a tower that gives them amazing views across London. With prices soaring across East London it’s interesting to see independents heading west again.

Behind a nondescript Holborn door, past a recruitment consultancy and up several flights of stairs, is the loveliest office I visited today. Oh Comely‘s small but beautifully formed single room is the perfect embodiment of the magazine, with a lovely little fireplace and a sash window looking out across the rooftops.

And finally I called in at the Time Out building to pick up a couple of copies of Delayed Gratification, who rent office space there. With their next issue taking shape on the wall and a series of new subscriber-only offers being debated, it was the perfect last stop of the day.

The magazines have all been distributed now, so watch out for Stack popping up in newspapers and magazines over the next few weeks, and remember that the guides are right – a subscription really does make a great Christmas present! If you know somebody who would like a year’s worth of independent magazine surprises use the code XMAS13 when you sign up and we’ll send you a free mug to wrap up and stuff into a stocking.

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