Open Source Publishing – Graphic Design Caravan

Year – Mousse

Fonts · News · Works · July 21st, 2011 ·

A few weeks ago, a 365 pages magazine has been published by Komplot and David Evrard in Brussels. Even if it is not strictly an OSP job (it miss, by exemple, the necessery plural workers), it smells libre graphics around its square ears. Another magazine, Mousse, ask questions, multivoices amongst publishers and designers answer.

What triggered the need to publish something like YEAR?
The need to make the story. Something like that. Tell the story in your own words. When you do something like that, at a point, you can’t do something else. No choice. And the absence of choice is, by definition, necessity! Héhé… You know it’s just something growing on a table with a few people are sitting around…

The interesting feature is its apparent non-linear structure, meaning that it can be read and enjoyed randomly. What do you think are the advantages of a publication based such loose structure?
There are two ideas of time. One of these is : time is a line, and you can highlight some points on this big, general and academic line. This is History. This is competition. The second idea is : time is a collage of moments, a suite, a partition. This is Stories. Using this second idea, you can see time as different layers where time is space. You need time to read/make ? a book. YEAR is about time. We separated the book in 12 parts like a calendar, with internal covers copying the design of existing revues titled with months’ name… i think readers of Mousse easily recognized the US magazine October or the French one May, for example… A calendar is physically made out of this idea of time. The setting is made out of layers… Layers that can be projective… No matter what’s the first. This is not a competition.
The 12 parts and covers refer also to what is call in French a “recueil”, a compendium that some publisher produce from all the magazines of a year, pack in a cheap (or luxury, but contrasted from the rest) cover et resold as a different item. So yes, it prays to be read asynchroniously. And so the strange number of pages.

How did you select the contributions for YEAR?
Just like for a surprise party… a scene as an experimental constellation… We also invited people to curate part of the books from their own activities : Devrim Bayar from the Wiels, Yann Chevallier from Le Confort Moderne, Jean Paul Jacquet from La Chaussette or Margot from Etablissement d’en face …

Did you have to give up or compromise with the printing process and binding? Why did you choose a yellow pages kind of paper?
Because it’s the cheapest. No kidding. When you decide to produce a 365 pages magazine with quite nothing at the start, very few advertisers, you’re in a straight economy. Others decisions came up from that standing point too : rotary printing press, only a quarter of the pages in colour, the stickers on blanco cardboard. The play was then to stretch these rough options to somewhat strange variations, with no additional costs, only by allocating time to convince printers and binders. So the uncut bottom of pages and gluing. About the conception and design process, some parts has follow the same ecology of choice with the use of free not as-in-free-beer handmade software. But only a few, because it seems that no discipline can be relevant for some South-West Brussels inhabitants. At the opposite side, no fonts used has been in contact with a lawyer to write his license. And yes, you spotted it, the main font was grabbed where it’s called “a typeface for the nations”.