Thursday, 10:31am
15 November 2012

Back of the net

Give a big hand for Howler, a confident, upmarket print magazine for US soccer fans.

Howler is a ‘a print quarterly for North American soccer enthusiasts’ edited by George Quraishi and Mark Kirby with art direction from New York’s Robert Priest and Grace Lee (Priest + Grace), writes Peter Robertson.

The first issue has launched after a successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign.

Howler’s cover, a piece entitled ‘Klinsmann Wins a Friendly’ is illustrated by Diego Patiño.
Top: a spread for ‘The Howler Eleven: our picks for what’s best in soccer’.

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The idea of a quarterly North American soccer magazine may seem bizarrely ‘niche’ but Howler is anything but. Published in a large, square format on coated paper it has all the values of slick high budget production. Coming from a team with backgrounds in Esquire, GQ and several Conde Naste publications, Howler’s execution makes it feel very much of that sector: think Wired rather than Fire & Knives.

Illustration by Eden Rodriguez, a regular contributor to the New Yorker magazine.

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However Howler employs a relentlessly eclectic visual approach throughout, with infographics and illustration very much in evidence. Highlights include a twelve-page timeline of Manchester United and a great story on the super-fans of a Mexican football team (illustrated by Tim McDonagh on page 52). The photography is well selected, and a refreshing change to the usual visual coverage of soccer.

Illustration by Alejandro Garcia, a designer / illustrator born in Valencia.

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The quarterly’s contents are interesting, full of insights and as diverse as the design: articles on a team relegated from the Argentine top flight sit happily with a piece about pilgrimages to soccer’s holy sites. It is a great mix, with contributions from good sports writers from around the world. Above all you can tell that it has been put together by people with a serious and passionate interest in soccer.

Photographer Ryu Voelkel captures the ‘operatic’ nature of the Italian game.

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Howler is an exciting and thoroughly genuine take on the contemporary sports magazine; its slower paced, intelligent look at football balanced with a vibrant, energetic visual approach is a very exciting prospect.

This spread features writing by ‘the player’, a mystery contributor who plays soccer professionally in America.

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Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. You can also browse visual samples of recent issues at Eye before You Buy.

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