IdN is a platform for those in the design community, especially new talent, to showcase their work that may not otherwise be seen by a wide audience. The publication circulates mostly around Australia and parts of Asia, but it has an international projection, chronicling the works of designers from all around the world.
The magazine aims to capture a wide cross-section of the design community, focusing on subjects across various design disciplines as well as providing coverage on more general, popculture-related items. With a thematic focus to each issue, some issues are more limited in their relevance to designers across the board, instead providing a resource for those looking for a publication broadcasting their specific interests, be it say, illustration or designer toys.
This issue, Alternative Desire, centres on the subject of alternative visions of beauty, with stories that feature some well-known and some less well-known people working in design at the moment. Stories come mainly in the form of interviews, with designers for indie rock labels, product designers, to interface designers and even designers of socially conscious stationery among those interviewed.
Each feature looks very different, with the design making reference to the content of the story. Because of the nature of a magazine - there is no single way through a magazine, the role of the designer [is] to help the reader find their way around, to signpost the content (Leslie, 2003) - this had me wondering whether some restraint in IdN's design might improve the ability to navigate it.
Though it is inevitable with a target market of designers, and I would hazard a guess here that graphic designers make up for most of those numbers, that IdN is so image-centric. This is also a sign of the trend for magazines to have increased their image content exponentially in the last couple of decades. Which has been a result of the possibilites granted by technology but perhaps more interestingly, the precedence of images over words in magazines has taken place in a world that is becoming increasingly globalised. The magazine that launched a thousand trends was Bennetton's contribution to the publishing world, Colors.
Colors foresaw how the globalization of culture, and in particular youth culture, meant there was an international audience for such projects. Colors was about the end of nationality and the birth of subcultures', was how Kalman, who edited the first thirteen issues described the project. People from different countries were finding common links through fashion, music and art.(Leslie, 2003)
IdN seems to exist under the same sentiment, this idea of connecting people through imagery and design. That each story changes graphic style is only evidence of the effort made to cater for its wide and varied audience who hail from all around the world. It is just unfortunate that this can sometimes be annoying for someone who prefers the kind of simplicity that is more in keeping with modernist design, the sort of unnoticed design that graces many fashion magazines but is rarely seen in graphic design publications. Which is all very probably a deliberate point of difference made by the designers but this reader needs to go find herself a copy of Vogue.
Leslie, J. 2003, magCulture : New Magazine Design, Collins Design, New York.