Indochine Media was founded in 2012 by Michael von Schlippe, who had earlier launched such periodicals as Vogue, GQ, AD, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, and Robb Report in Russia and Kazakhstan. Apart from licensed magazines sold in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia, the company carries out its own projects, such as Asia: Barcode and Luxury Guide.
Michael von Schlippe
Indochine Media, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
RR Donnelley Asia, China
© Masterskaya, 2011
The idea of a coffee-table-style periodical, which Bettina von Schlippe came up with, stems solely from marketing objective — to take over the publishing segment of the fast-growing but thematically underdeveloped Asian market. The magazine is a purely advertising periodical, but certain layout and editorial features make it possible to call it an encyclopedia of the world of luxury. Its importance is emphasized by the dimensions and the weight of the magazine. Each issue cover has a new author, usually an artist or a fashion designer. Printing and finishing techniques differ as well. The magazine is distributed through direct mailing.
The magazine design is based on a run-through grid; the trim margin size is ½ of the minimum size module. The module ratio is 4×8.
It was necessary to use a small range of typesetting styles and a limited number of artistic devices in order to simplify the publishing process. The magazine composition is as traditional as we could make it; all layout solutions are formalized, all sections are symmetric. Illustrations are always framed, except for the full bleed image on the front endpaper. Cut-out illustrations are only allowed with a light beige background.
We used the Kafka Serif Text typeface (9.215 / 12.735 pt); Kafka Serif Extended for quotations (14.91 / 19.103 pt); three heading sizes. Display matter features elaborate lettering, which uses five alternative sets of the Bazaarban typeface, initially created for Bazaar magazine. Lettering height is defined by module size. A proper balance of white and printed space creates an eye-pleasing double page spread density.
“I designed KafkaTypefamily in 2010–2012. This font family is intended for use in books and magazines; it is suitable for long reading and it includes headline fonts and alternative characters. Stylistically, this typeface is a fresh replica of German modern serif of the late 18th — early 19th centuries, the era of Justus Erich Walbaum. Its slightly narrowed proportions and moderate contrast make lines look firm and neat. This typeface also includes a display face (Kafka Text Stensil), which was released in the Asia: Barcode layout.”
“Bazaarban is one of the strangest typefaces I have ever had to design. The very name demonstrates its synthetic nature — it’s a mix of the name of the magazine (Bazaar) and its art director (Barbanel). Bazaarban combines the 1960s Optima glamor, the early 2000s techno, Soviet ’big style’, postmodern irony, Swiss modules, and Bauhaus minimalism. Each letter in Bazaarban has a lot of variants. Imagine that — regular narrow, regular wide, italic, and back slant characters all coexist in this typeface. You can start a word with a slant to the left and finish it with a slant to the right. To switch the slant, there are special stopper letters — one side slanted, the other regular. Moreover, Bazaarban makes it possible to make a four-letter word ’МАМА’ (’Mum’) longer than ’МЫЛА РАМУ’ (’Mum was washing the window frame’ — a typical sentence from Russian ABC books) which consists of eight letters and a space. It can be very wide or unbelievably narrow, depending on the situation.
Why? To make you read slower. Bazaarban turns headlines into standalone events. Attracts your attention. Doesn’t let you go. Stop! Something’s going on here! I would call such typefaces ‘the ultimate display fonts’. They work in a much more powerful way than needed to just read the text. Ultimate display fonts are a transitional stage between a typeface and lettering, calligraphy, and drawing.
Bazaarban is built on the same principles as old typefaces for hand-set typesetting. No OpenType tricks, no automatization, no glyph substitution. Want unique result? Procure letters, one by one, from the Glyphs palette, just like a real metteur en pages 100 years ago. Love every letter, try it on, change, experiment — the results might be surprising.”