Some friends pass the time with potlucks, sports days or dinner parties, but the cohort behind Germany-based Kiosk magazine decided to go a different route. After all, seven heads are better than one. And it just so happened that each of those heads was keen to use their backgrounds in design to explore their shared love of print. As good ideas tend to do, it took off, and the group quickly found themselves caught up in its momentum. “As the idea became more concrete and real, we all became really invested in the first issue,” Kiosk says. Now, hot off the release of the second issue, we caught up with the team to talk about making a magazine for friends, by friends.
Kiosks, in Germany, are traditionally small corner shops offering day and night time essentials. But in the hearts of their loyal patrons, they’re so much more. “They stay open until late at night, offering what everybody needs and being open for everybody,” the team says. “But people not only come to buy something and leave, they tend to stay a bit, hanging out at the corner with their friends.” By “offering a wide range of articles, illustrations, photographs and other small things and being a place for discourse as well as friendship”, the team says they hope to convey that convivial quality of the beloved German mainstay.
“We wanted to interpret a magazine as a visual journey, an event or even a meeting point,” the Kiosk team tells It’s Nice That. So, it makes sense that kinship would underwrite the entire project, pulling all the visual elements into its slipstream. The team mulled over how to replicate the experience of reading in the company of friends and reading while listening – all of which relates to the magazine's first theme of 'interspace'. The contributions they got back were “really personal, often emotional and had a metaphorical approach because it's a topic not easy to grasp,” the team tells us. But for Play, the theme of the second issue, the team wanted a topic that could hold space for denser and thoughtful texts as well as “short, playful and approachable ones".
The design is really the crowning glory of the project. Whether it’s the bright colours or magnetic compositions that fit together like puzzle pieces, a sense of play can be felt throughout. The team started with a birds-eye view of the base layout, opting for something that would “give us enough space to show photographs and illustrations in the size they deserve", they say. But even on a granular level, details like page numbers being encircled to look like billiard balls nod to that idea of communal play. One of the first contributions was “Inflatable / Aufblasbar" by Berlin-based photographer Caro Lenhart – which became the cover of the magazine. “It definitely set a good example in terms of colour and resonated with everyone,” Kiosk tells It’s Nice That.
To really drive the point home, Kiosk’s entire production for the first two issues was pre-financed through crowdfunding. Naturally, the team were inspired by each other but also by old board games and video games. Above all, the team wanted to bring readers back into the world of analogue world, saying: “We wish that they read it out loud to their friends, exchange it, use it for a collage work or hold a very special place for it in their bookshelves.”
kiosk magazin 02: Dann wird es vielleicht besser by Jana Vogt (Copyright © kiosk magazin 2022)
About the Author
Roz (he/him) joined It’s Nice That as editorial assistant in October 2022 after graduating from Magazine Journalism and Publishing at London College of Communication. He’s particularly interested in publications, archives and multi-media design. Feel free to get in contact with Roz about ideas you may have for stories from the Global South.