This internship gives me a great chance to learn about Japanese magazine design. I’ll report a bit about what I learn here, mainly to remember it myself but also to give anyone who is interested a chance to get a general idea about it.
The book “The edit of Tokyo. Visionary Tokyo editors: Their Lives and Works” by Masanobu Sugatsuke (Pie Books 2007) contains interviews with a number of famous Japanese magazine editors.
Each interview starts with a quote in English about what editing is: “Edit is ecstacy”, “Edit is war”, “Edit is magical”, “Edit is fiction”, “Edit is to defuse, not to deepen”, “Edit is a bird’s-eye view”, “Edit is innovation”, “Edit is encounter”, “Edit is extension of the sense”, “Edit is to depend on others”, and so on. (Or maybe I actually covered all of them there.)
However, even though it’s interesting with those perspectives on editing (I think especially the last one is interesting), there was one that I thought was spot on. Here it is:
Exactly, Makoto Sekikawa: Edit is package! You take a piece of the chaotic world and you package it for the reader so that he can grasp it. That’s why I like print publishing so much, because it’s literally graspable. So I wasn’t surprised that I found Mr Sekikawa’s magazines the most interesting. Here are some samples:
I think what many of these covers have in common is presence. Look at the two girls on the first photo (looks like issue 6 and 2). One from what seems like a documentary article about something serious, the other from some kind of fashion reportage probably. But both equally engaging to the viewer! Two girls, one editor. (Or maybe art director, who knows.)