There’s no denying we love the digital world—a magazine just doesn’t cut it when you’re Googling the latest café that’s just hit Melbourne’s coffee-obsessed streets—but sometimes, curling up with a cuppa and a good paper-bound read is just the ticket. That’s where magazines come in; the smell of freshly printed paper, the glossy pages, those long-reads that invite us to discover our new favourite obsession… Magazines are as perfect for idly leafing through while waiting for your Uber as they are delving into for three hours on a Sunday over a home-poured long black.
So, to keep your coffee table well stocked with fresh new reads, here are 10 of our favourite magazines that fly under the typical mag rack radar. And hey, even if you never get around to reading them, they’ll sure as hell make your interior look a whole lot more style-savvy.
#1: Dumbo Feather
Dumbo Feather is, essentially, a magazine about conversations between people. But rather than it resemble your housemates bickering about The Bachelorette, Dumbo speaks with some of the most interesting folk in the world, ranging from fashion designers to political activists, clean-eating pioneers to tech gurus. If you’re looking for a page-turner that really gets your brain ticking, nab yourself a subscription to Dumbo Feather and you’ll never be mag-starved again.
#2: Extra Curricular
Extra Curricular celebrates the stuff we do in our spare time. Focussing on up-and-coming creative types (think photographers, illustrators, designers and basically anything else that involves a spot of artistic flair), the Tasmanian magazine covers everything from profiles to recipes. One for getting those creative juices flowing over a long weekend.
#3: The Lifted Brow
Literary magazine The Lifted Brow champions some of Australia’s most skilled rising wordsmiths, as well as searching for international talent. The quarterly publication takes submissions too, which means you can send them your latest written rant with the hope of it appearing on their immaculately put-together pages. Equal parts laughs and WTFs, The Lifted Brow is a fantastic read for something completely different that will definitely spark a talking point. Oh, and if you’re Melbourne based, they also throw some cracking parties too.
Ladies (and pro-lady men), this one’s for you. Womankind profiles interesting women from around the world, often delving into history to uncover what’s made the fairer sex who we are today. The content-rich mag is also completely advert-free, so you know that you’re guaranteed 130+ pages of top-rate words and pictures from the Womankind team, rather than 30 double-spread ads before you even get to the index (Vogue, we love you but seriously…).
#5: The Green Soccer Journal
Who says a soccer mag can’t be a thing of coffee-table envy?! In print for a couple of years but still fairly unknown, The Green Soccer Journal profiles some of the world’s top soccer stars in a slick publication that looks just as good as the latest issue of Monocle on your coffee table. With a focus on EPL as well as stunning original photography, this is pretty much the only sports rag that will impress the graphic designer in your friendship circle. Pure goal-kicking magazine glory.
Art! Design! Architecture! Cool stuff that’s all three! Made magazine is total eye-candy for those of you who believe that the world is better when it’s designed beautifully. Based out of New York and Melbourne, the Made team talk to the most interesting new designers from around the world, as well as profiling the big-hitters. If you want a magazine that looks like it came from an incredibly sophisticated Vogue Living shoot, this is it.
#7: Gather Journal
Food fans, if you haven’t heard of Gather, be prepared to be wowed by its epic photography, incredible interviews and luxe-but-doable recipes that let you create dishes from some of the best chefs and cocktail connoisseurs around the world. The seasonal publication (that’s two a year; spring/summer and autumn/winter) is a real treat that impresses even the most hardcore foodie amongst us. Start collecting now.
#8: Little White Lies
If you’re a film buff with an eye for detail, you will love the British-made film journal, Little White Lies. The bi-monthly journal interviews directors, actors and writers about their latest projects, as well as reviewing the latest movies with wit and insight. As expected, it is also incredibly beautifully designed, with cover illustrations that could keep our eyes happy for hours. The perfect gift for that film-loving friend who’s seen every new release before you. Twice.
Offscreen is a fantastic Melbourne-based mag that features the faces behind everyone’s favourite digital platforms. Rather than talk to them about apps and websites, the magazine uncovers their hobbies and interests outside of the world wide web. It’s a fantastic publication for learning about how some of today’s greatest start-up minds work, without losing three hours to TED talks.
#10: The Anonymous Sex Journal
We might not admit it that often, but pretty much everyone loves a leaf through someone else’s sex life, and The Anonymous Sex Journal invites you to do just that. Combining first-person anecdotes—from the steamy to the cringe-worthy to the side-splittingly hilarious—with cute illustrations, it’s a fascinating look at real-life modern sex and relationships. Just keep it hidden when the grandparents show up.
Love the idea of coffee table-worthy mags, but don’t actually have a coffee table yet?! Check out our Fave 5 Melbourne Homewares Stores.