No matter what anyone says, there's still nothing like the experience of reading a physical book or magazine. Although many say that print publications are becoming outdated with the development of the Internet and tablet readers, these indie magazines are both relevant and transforming print, in our eyes. By "indie," we mean that, although many have worldwide distribution, they are lesser-known, niche, and often annual or biannual.
Most of these publications have sprouted up in the past 10 years and have had enough success to stay in business and flourish. Reading one of them is definitely not a bad way to discover some hidden gems.
Popeye is a Japanese publication that has become popular in North America and frequently talked about online. It's known for its cutting edge fashion tips and in-depth editorials. The magazine explores fashion throughout the world and provides readers with the latest trends in a refreshing format. We're not sure how much good the words would do you, unless you can read Japanese, but even the pictures might help you up your fashion knowledge.
Yippee Ki-Yay! is a brand new magazine geared toward film fanatics and industry hopefuls. The first issue, which was released in early 2013, features an animated Bruce Willis on the cover, different reviews for the best films of 2012, and an interview with Die Hard screenwriter, Steven E. de Souza. Look for more issues from Yippee Ki-Yay! to stay on top of the latest movie trends.
Inventory by Ryan Willms
Inventory was established in 2009 with the intent of expressing a unique set of social and cultural interests. The magazine has a strong focus on design and craftsmanship, thereby promoting artists who aren't necessarily part of the latest trend, but whose body of work shows an affinity for quality and taste over a longer period of time.
The Gentlewoman by Penny Martin
The Gentlewoman is an independent magazine that promotes women's fashion and style. The aim of the magazine is to present more than the typical flashy, overbearing high-fashion we are used to, capturing how women "really look," with a sense of elegance. Its covers generally tend to focus on the specific woman being photographed in terms of how they dress, think, and portray themselves without the glitz and glam of celebrity life.
25 Magazine by Anja Rubik
25 Magazine is an erotic art magazine founded by famous fashion model Anja Rubik. The magazine is also managed in part by Rubik's husband Sasha Knezevic and was started in 2009 with the first issue being released in May of 2012. The magazine focuses on high fashion, to which Anja is no stranger and the first issue consisted of over three hundred photos from models and brands across the globe.
Justified Magazine by Joshua Ogden
Justified is a magazine that promotes both the independent and mainstream areas of contemporary design and photography. Its goal is to celebrate creative individuals who are at the forefront of these areas, while also curating some of the best up-and-coming artists in their particular fields. Justified has a simple design that is able to elegantly promote the work of others.
IDN is an international, independent magazine from Hong Kong. Its mission is to unify and amplify the design community by cultivating a creative blend of opinions from some of the leading figures in the field. Additionally, IDN puts on events in an effort to bring these people together in real life.
Beautiful Decay by Amir Fallah
Beautiful/Decay was started in 1996 by Amir Fallah, who wanted to document his youth rebellion growing up in Northern Virginia. Beautiful/Decay works in collaboration with known and unknown artists, takes risks, and still holds on to their same mantra—to promote creativity and shy away from the mainstream. It has turned into more than a magazine, and in recent years, Beautiful/Decay has become a creative platform for both literature and apparel.
The Theo-Mass Times is a real life comic book in magazine form. The magazine works with some of the best young artists and designers in the world to create a reality based comic book with a high artistic value. The first issue was released in late 2012 and focuses on the fictional character of Theo-Mass Lexileictious.
Slake by Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly
Former LA Weekly editors Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly have teamed up to form Slake, a literary magazine with focus on the printed word and page. Slake consists of narrative journalism with samples of memoirs, fiction, and profiled essays. Slake has been heralded as the new school of print, destined for the bedside table and not the recycling bin.
Maker Magazine is printed bi-annually and works with contemporary artists to explore the unknown in hopes of shedding light on the creative mind and spirit. Maker was founded in 2013 and just recently released its second issue. It is distributed in a number of cities such as London, Portland, Seattle, Miami, Los Angeles, and New York.
Monolith by Kathleen Hensley
Monolith was created by Kathleen Hensley in 2007, but the first issue did not go into print until 2010. The second issue was printed almost a year later in 2011, and it has now become an annual publication. Monolith's content generally consists of poetry with bits of art and illustrations added throughout. The magazine accepts freelance contributors but retains the vision of Hensley throughout.
Collect by Josh Fanning
Collect is one of the smaller magazines on this list and is based out of Australia. Its main goal is to encourage taking pride in where we live and what we do, attempting to provoke discussion applicable to people from all walks of life. Collect places a strong emphasis on the community and the importance of people getting to know their neighbor.
Carousel Magazine by Mark Laliberte
Carousel is a Canada-based literary magazine that specializes in poetry, fiction, and artistic works. The magazine prominently features Canadian writers and artists but accepts submissions from established international creatives, as well. It is published quarterly and has mostly North American viewership. Its goal is to expose viewers to literary and artistic works from some of the best up-and-coming creative minds.
Works That Work by Peter Bil'ak
Works That Work is another independent magazine specializing in creativity in the fields of art and design. Detached from artists' egos and strictly focused on curating creative pieces, the magazine's goal is, simply put, to bring the reader "works that work." Works That Work does not simply inform its readers about creative pieces but rather explores their motives and reach on society.
Creative Future by Christian Anderson
Creative Future was founded in September 2011 by 19-year-old student/artist, Christian Andersen, out of his parents' basement in Denmark. The magazine is run and operated solely by Andersen and strives to display the best in creativity with a specific focus on art and design. Andersen's lack of affiliation with a publishing company gives him complete creative control over the magazine and allows for unique artist collaborations. Andersen has produced four issues with relative success and continues to build the magazine.
BITE is an independent magazine that was founded in April 2011. Its mission is to focus on art and fashion from a youth standpoint. They see their quarterly issues as a way to "inspire and be inspired." Their online presence is a large factor, as well, as they hope to tap into the importance of technology in youth communication.
Victory Journal by Doubleday & Cartwright
Victory Journal is a sports publication born from the creative agency of Doubleday & Cartwright. The journal is dedicated to more than just statistics, but rather telling stories and recalling memories through words and images. It was founded in early 2012 as an effort to preserve timeless sports memories for fans that care more about the stats than the person behind the jersey.
SPOOK by Jason Parham
SPOOK is a progressive, independent magazine featuring literary works like poetry and short fiction, as well as covering topics related to art and culture. Only on its second issue, SPOOK is turning into a highly regarded news source with a global consciousness. The magazine is open to submissions from artists of all statures in the interest of promoting who's up-and-coming.
No Thoughts by Michael J. DeMeo
No Thoughts was founded in 2009 by Michael J. DeMeo in Portland, Oregon. The magazine is currently based out of Boston, MA and is in publication about four times a year, an issue for each season. It is not so much a magazine as it is a photo book in magazine form. No Thoughts strives to find photo talent from around the world and has become an influential voice in the conversation of international photography.
METAL Magazine by Yolanda Meulas, Poncho Paradela
METAL was first published in 2006 as a subsidiary of Jazzmetal Magazine and focused on fashion, photography, and art with a strong international flare. METAL has now been in print for six years since its first sample issues and is available in more than 20 countries with a strong presence online, as well. METAL has had the opportunity to interview some of the most prominent fashion designers and independent artists of the past decade.
GARAGE by Dasha Zhukova
GARAGE magazine was born in 2007 when The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture was founded from an abandoned constructivist garage in Moscow. The Culture Center was founded with the intent that it would help Russia's developing art scene flourish. After the success of the center, a creative team, and a plethora of ideas, GARAGE magazine was started.
Day Job Magazine by Elliott Walker
Day Job is a biannual magazine dedicated to anyone who's ever had a job. It explores work culture, earning a living, and the everyday ways in which we spend our time and energy. Day Job publishes pieces on various environments, tools, and work complaints. The magazine also features a collection of interviews, profiles, personal essays, and stories from people around the world.
It's Nice That by Will Hudson
It's Nice That is a London-based magazine focused on championing creativity. The quarterly magazine was founded in 2007, and they also publish content online. The paper version of the site comes out three times a year. In 2012, the first It's Nice That Annual was published, highlighting art, photography, graphic design, and illustration.
Little Joe by Sam Sabih
Little Joe is a bi-annual magazine "about queers and cinema, mostly," which analyzes film from a different perspective. The production seeks to map the subterranean canon of past and present gay and lesbian cinema and create related discourse. The magazine also hosts A Little Film Club, a monthly screening program in London.
Thvm Rag by Brian Kim and Olga Nazarova
Thvm Rag is a bi-annual publication produced by Los Angeles denim brand, Thvm Atelier, featuring talent from various creative fields. The magazine focuses on simple yet striking aesthetics and a beautiful presentation of artists, designers, and musicians.
Iconograph by Justin Van Hoy
Iconograph is a thematic magazine dedicated to exploring art and design from a more refreshing, researched angle. The magazine's second issue has a theme of "Ritualistic Iconography" and was dedicated to the late designer, Justin Van Hoy.
Sang Bleu by Maxime Büchi
Sang Bleu, which means Blue Blood, was founded in 2004 as a crossover magazine for contemporary arts, cultural studies, and scientific research. The magazine has since shifted its focus towards art, tattoos, fashion, and the humanities. It is on its sixth issue and continues to build its reputation.
Little White Lies by Danny Miller
Little White Lies is a British independent movie magazine founded by Danny Miller in 2001, although the first issue was released in 2005. Each issue is inspired by a feature film, with the lead actor on the cover in some form. Little White Lies is currently distributed in the UK on a bi-monthly basis.
Sneeze by Nic Fensom
Sneeze is a poster-book style magazine started by Nic Fensom. The first issue came out in the summer of 2008, after months of careful preparation and planning. Sneeze features popular musicians, artists, street wear brands, models, and contemporary topics. Now on its 18th issue, the magazine is currently being sold in boutique shops around the world, vending machines, and online.