At a time when many are heralding the death of print, the Justus team is putting the focus back on the tangible and tactile.
December 19th, 2011
After 17 years working in graphic design Lindsay Smith, founder of creative studio Eleven Eleven, knew there were a few things in the industry that were lacking – namely, a sense of solidarity between those involved in print, and an avenue for them to showcase their work.
This became the inspiration for Justus magazine – a quarterly journal dedicated to supporting Australia’s print design industry and unifying its community of print designers, freelancers, students, studios and suppliers.
Photography: Jackie Chan
“We started talking about it in January ,” says Smith, who brought on board editor Estelle Pigot and contributor/publicist Larissa Meikle to form the magazine’s core team (pictured above).
Issue 1 launched in November this year and sets the tone for what’s to come. Subtitled ’An Ode to Foiling’, Issue 1 focuses on this special craft, showcasing foil stamping throughout the pages of the publication and examining the process involved.
Justus pre-launch. Photography: Jackie Chan
Each issue is set to be the work of a different printer. The magazine features 10 different stocks from various paper houses, identified at the bottom of each page, placing suppliers in the spotlight.
“I said, let’s make it a vehicle for everybody in our industry. Let the paper house showcase their paper; let a different printer print it every issue and showcase what he does. Let there be real ads, so that the ads can then be their marketing piece,” Smith explains.
The emphasis is on community and transparency. Profiles of students, freelancers and students working in the industry sit side by side, without hierarchy. All completed work submitted for feature in the publication needs to reveal its cover, finish, printer, finisher and font secrets. The magazine also has a dedicated student section to endow students with relevant skills. Sharing knowledge, says Smith, makes for a better local industry.
“If it can be like a bible of information, it’s just going to make people stronger. It’s like a circle,” she explains. “If we help make better staff members then we’ll make better companies; if we make strong companies, we give more work to our suppliers. We make stronger suppliers, we get better prices.”
Strength and solidarity within the industry is important at a time when, as Smith says, the role of print evolves in the face of digital media.
“Print is revitalising itself; it’s going to a higher place,” says Smith. Digital, she explains, “doesn’t get the same desired effect. The second you send a HTML compared to a printed invitation on beautiful stock that you can touch and feel, that is a million times better. People are appreciating that, so I think print is going to a better place. It’s getting rid of the rubbish.”
With each subsequent issue, Justus hopes to forge stronger relationships within the print design industry, creating a sense of community and pride in local talent. It’s not an easy job – but the result is worth the effort.
“Logistically, it’s a very difficult job,” Smith says, “but in saying that I think things need to be that hard to be that brilliant. It works.”
Issue 2 of Justus magazine, with a feature on embossing and letterpressing, comes out in February 2012.
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