Spring 2002

Editorial Eye 43

Eye goes live

This is the first issue of Eye to be published since the launch of our website in early February. And it is the first time that we have been able to make a direct comparison between the demands of quarterly, print-based magazine production and ‘instant’ electronic publication. Eyemagazine.com has been in our minds, and on our computer screens, for quite a while - as those of you who registered at the site with false emails addresses such as [email protected] reminded us. Yet to have a ‘live’ site feels totally different. Apart from the public feedback, our own perception of the site has changed now that it has become a reality. It’s the difference between dealing with proofs and the printed magazine.

Nevertheless the site was never intended to be a magazine by itself - its role is to complement and serve as an index to the printed quarterly. The idea was prompted by a casual conversation with an architect neighbour, a long-time subscriber to the Architectural Review. Though he had always loved that magazine, he told me, he found that his collection of back issues had taken on an entirely new relevance and usefulness once its index was published online.

At that time we were completing the ‘concept word’ poster for Eye’s tenth anniversary. The way the words shuffled around the text box during editing, when we removed or added sections of text, made for unexpected and amusing juxtapositions (such as ‘PUNCTUATE STILLNESS VISION’ or ‘READING SUBLIME VOYEURISM’). So we had a model for a website, but putting these ideas into practice required Tom Elsner and Hilla Neske from Artificial Environments, who worked on the site last summer while we were preparing the redesign for issue 41. Some editorial elements of the redesign were intended for both media, for example the key words at the start of each feature: they’re both a means with which to explore the website and a quick way to communicate some of the content of an article.

So, for example, Eric Kindel’s study of colour overprinting (key words Purism, lithography, uncertainty, etc.) includes a side-bar about the relevanceof a particular art movement in addition to his principal concerns with images made by printers and designers; the Reputations interview with Zuzana Licko (key words: Emigre, recycling, copyright) also touches on issues of environmentalism and ownership. Some readers grasped the key word notion quickly while others were baffled: we hope the Search page of the Eye website helps all of you to find your way around the site and the magazine’s resources, both for recent articles, and for the essays and extracts from earlier issues that are gradually swelling the index.

The Uncoated section of Eye 43 is full of good and entertaining writing about all kinds of recent events and publications, from Richard Hollis’s review of Karl Gerstner’s monograph to John O’Reilly’s amused critique of a spectacularly shallow photography exhibition; from J. J. King’s visit to the Rotterdam Film Festival to Chin-Lien Chen and Chris Vermaas discussing the everyday ‘inspiration’ of delivery forms and tags.

You can read these pieces on the website, making links and connections. Or you can read them on the printed page. Our intention is that Eye and Eyemagazine.com will continue to complement each other. An addtional ‘web-only’ Critique column will appear between each printed issue. Whether you are a regular subscriber with a collection of back issues to trawl; an occasional buyer; or you have only just discoverd Eye through this website, we hope that it is a site you will want to bookmark and revisit often.

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 and single issues.