Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or in a darkroom) for the past few months, you’ll have at least a fleeting awareness of Let’s Explore Magazine and the hard work of Kilian Idsinga to bring this amazing project screaming off the web and on to the presses ready for printing.
LEM is best described as a labour of love. One which has has taken two years of development to get to where it is today; the final days of its issue 00 Kickstarter campaign.
When funded, we’ll see the at least 300 copies of delivered to backers across the globe by the end of 2015.
That’s right, in the age of Kindles and iPads, we’ve got a certified madman trying to bring us a print magazine.
Interested? Read on.
“Why do people do what they do?”
This is the question that drove the creation of the Let’s Explore concept and continues to drive its foray from the web and onto the printed medium. Don’t let that word confuse you though, there’s nothing off-the-cuff, or new about this idea. LEM’s “printed when ready” concept been a part of its ethos since the project’s inception.
Each printed issue will be dedicated to exploring a specific theme, wrapping and weaving (long-form) stories and articles from contributors and the LEM team into a tangible, physical object, which engages the reader in a way that ebooks and electronic magazines simply cannot.
The aim of LEM isn’t only to introduce people, places and brands, but to focus on the stories behind them; what was learned from a journey, what lies behind the story of a brand, or what drove someone to give up their life in order to pursue their childhood dream.
Through deep and layered narratives, Kilian and the LEM team are hoping to inform and inspire their readers in a way that is all too often missing from today’s printed advertorial and ‘click bait’ magazines.
Read, understand and be inspired. It’s simple to say but rather difficult to put into practice.
The way physical paper smells and feels, the presence of a book on a shelf, or the sight of magazine on a table is something that cannot be replicated by a tablet computer or ebook, no matter how “paper-like” the screen may seem.
Perhaps this is a just a technological limitation for today’s generation of devices but then again, perhaps it will always be the case.
Needless to say that leafing through bound paper is a unique experience and (as we’ve written about before), in today’s online, app-delivered world – including this very website – seeing images and reading the stories associated with them in the traditional physical form is the exception rather than the norm.
We consume media on-the-go (or on-the-toilet). We flick, flick, flick through online libraries and even look over the shoulders of others while on the bus, on the train, or queuing for our lunch.
When was the last time you simply sat down and just read for the sake of reading, not because you had nothing better to do but because you wanted to?
LEM wants to be with you when you make that choice, and offer you something captivating to absorb yourself in. Something that can inspire you to carve your own path and be able to tell your own story. Print, it seems, is the way it has to be.
Over to Kilian for a brief explanation of what we have in store for issue 00:
“Ever since we started the Let’s Explore platform, we’ve been discovering and rediscovering ourselves.
We kept exploring where and how we, as a platform, position ourselves; where do we as storytellers fit in; and how we would like our contributors and collaborators to fit in.
In short: where do we belong.
So far, this journey has been incredibly inspiring and because of that, we decided that the theme of our first printed magazine should be belonging.
We are not looking for answers, but we’re aiming for an exploration of what belonging can mean. Like we said, we want to make this magazine together with you and we are extremely curious about how you would explore this theme.
Because of the fact that belonging can be interpreted in a lot of ways, we’re dividing it into three sub themes:
be|long|ing aka belong, belonging and longing”
Belong (dynamic, places)
The first part explores places that have a meaning for the storyteller. This can be any place you have strong feelings about; a room, a town, even an entire country or a community you’re part of. How does that place relate to the theme of belonging for you. What is it that makes you belong, or not belong, to that place.
Belonging (ownership, static, fixed, singular, moveable object)
The second part explores objects that define a person or place. Think of anything that you hold dear. A token, an heirloom, a collection, travel/photography/writing essentials, contents of your notebook/sketchbook/(travel)journal/bag/photo album.
Longing (desire, dreaming, free, transcending the above)
The last part explores a desire of the storyteller. This transcends the first two sub themes. You can long for places and objects. You can feel nostalgic about people and places. But you can also think about an anticipation of something that is going to happen, like going on a trip or buying a house and making it into a home.
What to expect
Kilian has been designing magazines for nearly 10 years and to say that he know what he’s doing it a little bit of an understatement. Listen to Kilian speak about this project and you’ll hear him talk of the Van de Graaf Canon, Rosarivo and his discovery of the “golden ratio” in Gutenberg’s work, the Rule of Thirds.
He talks about things you or I may simply not consider when lazily leafing through a magazine or photo book. The first issue of LEM is 176 pages of beautiful, inviting pages that just feels “right”.
If you’re interested in learning more about the effort that went into the magazine from a pure design and typesetting perspective (and you should be), you can check out his extended piece on what it means to you as the reader.
Issue 00 will be 176 pages in total and feature 27 stories drawn together from authors around the world. Pre-run copies (which you can see in the images throughout this post), have been finished and the rest are waiting for the successful funding of the Kickstarter campaign.
What you can do
Support this project. It’s really that simple – jump over to Kickstarter and pledge your support.
There’s little else we can say. If you want to see this wonderful project hit the presses and make it’s way to your door, all you need to do is click that link and pledge your support.
Share your knowledge, story or project
The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.
If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.