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MIND X

Monocle

Brand Monocle, originally a print magazine launched in February 2007 is in a prominent growth phase as a global affairs publication. Content ranges from foreign affairs, politics, International lifestyle to anything in the design and technology sphere.  Offering 10 copies of print in the form of a magazine each year, Monocle has recently diversified into radio, Monocle 24 is a stream of selected content from its magazine, 24 hours a day 7 days a week which broadcasts over the Internet. A cool vision of the media future from Monocle founder and former Wallpaper* mastermind Tyler Brûlé, Moncole is an attractive mix of old school media featuring print and radio, supported by a mobile app for people brain feeding on the move. The emphasis on print and radio give the brand a retro feel that could be advantageous in today’s market where authenticity and heritage are anchor points for successful brand positioning while the omnipresent threat of a double dip recession holds.

The communication is consistent throughout, a classic, cool and clean shaven, black and white traditional editorial, complimented by a flight of yellow, nothing represents this message more than in it’s use of Typography.  Monocle stacks up with Plantin, a modernist font created in 1913, reminiscent of a war time messaging service, it’s a transitional serif typeface which gives you the impression the publication is steeped in journalistic history, a pseudo real which sits alongside it’s lesser pronounced sans serif swiss relationHelvetica which is used for most sub headings, body text and wide lay copy. Monocle’s connotations personify the 19th century gentleman with a scholarly regime and an underlying uptightness that’s apparent throughout.

They pack it in, this magazine is rich with well written editorial, layout design, photography and illustration with obligatory advertisements, each copy has 200+ pages, the most recent 285 for a 10 month a year publication, they’re certainly not holding back.  Back in 2009 Monocle was accused of creating content that blurred the lines between advertising and editorial with an insert promoting Singapore as a holiday and business destination, apparently paid for by the Singaporean government, thus breaking the rules. They have since released a similar supplement promoting Thailand in 2012.

The format is suitable for travel, it feels just right in your hands, the heavier weighted paper and its slightly smaller pages than a regular magazine make it feel robust and something you’d be happy to fit in your transit pack.  Monocle also produces a summer magazine called Monocle Mediterraneo and sells a range of boutique products in its shops partnered with likes of Comme Des Garçon, Delvaux and Maison Kitsunē. Covering all things progressive, Monocle is based in London with offices in Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo and Zurich with correspondents in 30 locations spread around the globe.

An exciting trendsetting magazine that’s witnessed a steady growth period over the past two years, Monocle is creating it’s own niche in the print media world and has been acclaimed as a fast lane lifestyle magazine somewhere between Foreign Policy and Vanity Fair. It has breadth and depth of content you can breeze through on your next business trip or vacation, a listening tip would be to connect with Monocle’s Section D, The Globalist or The Urbanist on their Internet radio station called Monocle 24. The Monocle mobile app is available to download at $7.49 (Australia) allowing you to download and consume content anytime, anywhere, pinning Monocle to a media standpoint, hanging out, all on it’s own.

Colin JohnstonComment