26 June 2020
Every Eye ever
A display of every edition of Eye from 1 to 100 turned magCulture into a surreal cross between gallery and newsagent, complete with masked customers. Art director Simon Esterson reports
On Thursday 18 June 2020, Jeremy Leslie was keen to celebrate customers being able to browse magazines in his shop magCulture again, writes Eye’s art director Simon Esterson.
Jeremy is the happy curator of the shop’s big, long, back wall which proudly displays the best of independent magazine publishing. Where better to assemble all 100 issues of Eye and where suitably briefed customers (free gloves, timed entry and social distancing) could come and browse Eye’s take on graphic design? And if they wanted to buy a copy of Eye 100 from Euan Leslie behind the Perspex-screened till that would be great, too.
All photographs from ‘Every Eye Ever’, 18 June 2020, by Arnhel de Serra.
With the aid of Janet and Katie South we brought the Eye office’s complete set in a van to Clerkenwell and put them on the shelves. There was a tense moment when we realised that 100 copies would not fit. Well they would, but only if we overlapped the ones on the lower shelf. The top three shelves looked like an art gallery, the bottom shelf like a newsagent.
We put some very big Caslon Ionic vinyl lettering on the shopfront windows which were filled with copies of Eye 100, showing its front and back covers in the three colour variations of the print run.
magCulture, 270 St John Street, London EC1V 4PE. Shop window includes copies of Eye 100 with text typeset by Simon Esterson and Holly Catford in Caslon Ionic (Commercial Classics).
Founding Eye editor (and columnist) Rick Poynor dropped by to record a podcast with Jeremy.
Jeremy Leslie (left) with Rick Poynor.
Surveying the shelves, Rick and I discussed Eye covers over the years. Across a wide-ranging set of covers that reflect the tenures of founding art director Stephen Coates, successor Nick Bell and the current team there was one unifying factor: no coverlines (‘well, until the latest issue’ added Mr Poynor).
We asked photographer Arnhel de Serra to record the day’s Covid-determined interactions.
Back cover of Eye 100.
Thanks to everybody who braved leaving lockdown and walking the streets of Clerkenwell to come to magCulture.
Installing the vinyl lettering in St John St.
Simon Esterson, art director of Eye, London
Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published 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 and single issues.