Am I a bit late with this? Yeah probably. Some of those design hipsters out there might have already told you about Rankin's new magazine Hunger. But I've just got my hands on a copy and... oh wow. Isn't it just amazing?
I ordered the mag online and when it arrived I could hardly believe it - the package weighed a ton and the magazine is a daunting behemoth to behold. The masthead's done in gold foil with Hunger rendered in paint that drips into an atmospheric image of Sky Ferreira with this amazing depth of field. This bi-annual magazine is 514 pages of elegantly printed, stylish glory captured in dozens of photoshoots, and featuring stars of screen, literature, music and more.
The flatplanning and design subtly frame all the wonderful photography, and each section - Arts, Interview, Nude, Fashion and so forth - opens with bold handpainted type matching the cover masthead. It's not all photos either, the illustrator Von has created 10 portraits for the front section interviews, featuring the likes of Plan B, Kathy Burke and James Corden. Further in Marcela Gutierrez has visualised a fashion shoot in inks and paints.
These touches of illustration only add vairety to the miriad styles and finishes Rankin's used on all the photographic series - from retro-futuristic to realist and on to glam and fantasy. In one section it appears as if the model's been captured using a desktop scanner.
While it's certainly about style and fashion, and is very, very glossy, it doesn't ram consumerism down your throat the way other fashion mags tend to do nowadays, and while it's full of celebrity this isn't about gossip either. It's got an underpinning of culture and it's nice to see actress Lucy Liu painting like she's Jackson Pollock or read about model-turned-illustrator Quentin Jones and her postmodern, mixed-media-mash-up-McDonald's approach to image making. Ray Winstone, Rhys Ifans, Anna Friel, Danny Dyer and many others also appear in varying capacities.
For me the only slight drawback is that all the interviews are all presented in a Q&A format. It would have been nice to see some longer form articles with as much dedication to editorial narrative in the text as there is in some of the imagery. Still, as a piece of print design, at £4 for 514 pages, it really is a stunning beast of a magazine. Throw £9 in for postage and you can order it online here. Loads to see, and plenty to read as well.