You've Got (Weird) Mail - Design Bureau

Issue 13, Matthew Higgs & Martin Creed, 12-inch, 120-gram vinyl picture disk with Higgs on one side and Creed on the other, containing one track by Creed entitled “My Advice”

Issue 10, Starlee Kine, “Crying Instructions,” a bamboo cutting board designed only for onion cutting, with text that has been seared into its surface

Issue 12, Doo.Ri, a custom T-shirt made of sheer fabric with a three-foot-long tag that hangs down the back of the shirt listing every possible fabric, manufacturing location, and washing instruction ever listed on a shirt

Issue 14, Jonathan Lethem, “Chaldron Optical System,” a glasses case, a pair of clear glasses with text on each of the arms, and a care and maintenance manual written in both English and French

You’ve Got (Weird) Mail

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

by Kristen Eichenmuller

A magazine is, quite simply, a “thing with text,” according to artist Will Rogan. In addition to potentially becoming our new tag line, this elastic definition has led to The Thing Quarterly, a subscription-based publication by Rogan and co-creator Jonn Herschend.  

No two issues are the same with The Thing. Released four times a year, each is the brainchild of a special guest editor who guides its overall direction. Similarly, each book embodies its own unique shape, which is usually a far cry from that of a traditional mag. “Our work is to create an interesting and thoughtful pairing of text and object,” Herschend says. “We’re interested in…how [the text] transforms the object.” 

The Thing’s unusual shapes and sizes have included a T-shirt with a three-foot-long tag, an etched cutting board, and a deck of cards, among others. And each creation is left open to interpretation. Herschend explains: “We try not to offer instruction or education on the issues or the artists. We think this is something that the viewer should take on."

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