I love the way contemporary fashion gets refocused through the prism of Japanese culture. Many a times when I flip through Men's No No, the brother publication to Spur magazine, I wonder why is it that no "Western" mag has managed to capture those street style pages with the vivacity apprent in the pages of MNN. You get a sense of a strict and structured design policy but certain elements: namely the product pages and those street style snaps are just so gorgeously organized it creates a form of cultural envy. Well I'm hoping this new book The Secret Sense Of Japanese Magazine Design will dissolve the mystery.
Then there is the cross-over phenom of design talent becoming noted figures in their own right on the cool Tokyo design circuit. This is traced in a the second title "The 10 Influential Creators For Magazine Design " which chronicles the significance of behind the scenes movers and shakers like Jop Van Bennokom of Fantastic Man or the eminent Ezra Petronio . In the past, niche figures like Marc Ascoli would only be exposed to a very select audience of tastemakers looking to hire them, but I think it is brilliant that by doing something small and controlled, governed by a principle of great taste, you can manage to make something of a name in certain circles. Global cult cool. Its a winning principle, no?