Hermitage is a quarterly cultural magazine established by the State Hermitage Museum.
It is nothing like other art, let alone museum, magazines. Several types of paper, embossed hard cover, all sorts of inserts, a rave of fonts, innovative design techniques.
Hermitage XXI Century Foundation
The State Hermitage Museum
© Masterskaya, 2010
The main theme of the 2010 Fall issue of Hermitage is contemporary art. Cryptography and decoding are its secondary topics. Therefore, the magazine views contemporary art as an encrypted sign system with a lost key, and it sees a museum as a universal decoder that can decrypt the most difficult codes.
A symmetrical composition of the issue is created by interreflecting big and small narrative circles. The development of ideas in each circle goes along the following path: reality — art — code — art — reality. The smaller circle in a way follows the movement of the big one on another scale and from another historical perspective, communicating the idea that the processes discussed are eternal and unchangeable.
The main concept feature of the issue is multiple recoding of messages by means of various sign systems, as well as an experimental test of the adequacy of their perception by different people. The magazine encompasses almost every imaginable language of art: architecture, music, sculpture, painting, photography, cartoon animation, cinematography, circus, language arts, and flower language.
The magazine was meant not only for reading, but also for working with it. This is why several tools have been included in the issue: a mirror CD disc, 3D glasses, a punched card for text decryption, a die-cut frame for examining image details.
Many materials were specially created for this magazine issue: a mini-album with O. Karavaichuk’s music, Y. Norstein’s drawings and film project, essays by L. Petrushevskaya, S. Nosov and P. Krusanov.
The Hermitype typeface, created specifically for the magazine. This unicase font family comprises characters of different styles that are formally tied with the slightly playful art deco structure.
One of the first examples of brilliant typographic compilation, inspired by the works of Paul Renner, Fugue first appeared in 2008, and a month before the layout release, Radim Peshko, the author of the typeface, released its Cyrillic version. The typeface is available at http://www.radimpesko.com/fonts/fugue
21Cent, a free version of Century typefaces, carefully visualizes the peculiar features of contemporary Russian literary language.