Some Yorkshire post

by Steve Watson in September 2010
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Growing up in Hull there wasn’t a lot of interesting independent print going around, so I was excited to receive a copy of Article in the post recently. Granted it’s made in Sheffield not Hull, but the Yorkshire connection is close enough.

Apparently Article has been on the go for a while now, but its last 13 issues have only been available within its home city. Issue zero of volume two changes all that, distributed for the first time in Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, and of course Sheffield.

The design is strong and simple, mixing full colour with a central section of black, white and yellow, and belies a zine maker’s love for photocopying, which they’ve explored in the theme of copying.

Artists and designers are asked for their thoughts on creativity vs copying, the urban regeneration schemes that have turned northern cities into copies of a homogenised ideal are analysed, and there’s a ‘fade to grey’ fashion shoot that photocopies models and then copies the copies into oblivion. Some of those images are also used for the cover, and it seems it all got a bit too much for their hardware – the magazine opens with photos of Glen the photocopier repair man at work.

Article’s strap line is ‘pop culture and urbanism’, and it covers a wide range of subjects, including art and design, music, fashion and publishing. Not everything in the magazine is about the north, but those are the bits I like the most. For example two stories on alternative city branding in Sheffield and Manchester are really fascinating – the interviews with Sheffield Publicity Department and Manchester Modernist Society give exactly the sort of local perspective that allows for a clear, independent view of those cities.

It’s brilliant to find a strong editorial and design package coming out of the north, or any regional cities for that matter. I’m looking forward to Article updating me on what’s happening outside London again soon.

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