Take it from me, a partnership can make or break a project. I’ve been in publishing long enough to have worked with a variety of personality types: sometimes the combination bears fruit immediately; sometimes it takes a while to hit a collective stride; and very occasionally you’ve just got to take a deep breath and move on. Regardless, partnerships are behind every great creation, idea or movement — and that’s the theme of the latest gorgeous quarterly from Mohawk.
“We tend to romanticize the mythology of the solo creative genius,” writes Tom O’Connor, Jr., in the editor’s letter of the twelfth issue of Mohawk Maker Quarterly. “We imagine someone like Beethoven or Leonardo DaVinci laboring in solitude, alone with the inspiration and their art. But Beethoven was supported by an influential patron, who himself was an accomplished musician. And DaVinci was a polymath, who drew upon the output of other artists, scientists and mathematicians and overlaid his own thinking to create new concepts and artworks.”I love how the issue mimics the idea of diverse parts coming together to form wholes that are anything but cookie-cutter — the perfect-bound format features a die-cut dust jacket and contrasting cover paper to create three distinctive versions. Two photographs above courtesy of Hybrid Design
The printing is immaculately done, of course, as each features a foil-stamped masthead with words running across its parts perfectly no matter how you look at them.It’s a challenge to come up with a surprise in every issue, even when it’s a quarterly, but these 28 pages are replete with them. Short-sheet photo essays support the features so that the text and images work in — you guessed it — partnership. In homage to reaching the milestone of 12 issues, 12 paper stocks in white, off-white, colored and textured papers are used. The two photographs above courtesy of Hybrid Design
My favorite element of the issue? An element to promote what I consider the ultimate partnership — this one via the USPS — a 5″ x 7” flat card with coordinating envelope on the new Strathmore Impress Pure Cotton paper. This baby is foiled, letterpressed and offset! A dozen different designs were created for the issue.Photograph above courtesy of Hybrid Design
The feature articles themselves take a meandering journey through space and time. There’s a visit to the post-WWII sanctuary Pond Farm, established by San Francisco couple Jane and Gordon Herr as “a sustainable sanctuary for artists away from a world a gone amuck.” Ceramicist Marguerite Wildenhain, who fled the Nazis from her German homeland, trained artists based on Bauhaus theories — not just how to create, but how to live. Her highest compliment? “Not so bad.”Photograph above courtesy of Hybrid Design
Another can’t-miss is Take It On The Court, a vibrant visit to basketball courts around the world reconfigured by the artistic eye. Photograph above courtesy of Hybrid Design
My favorite piece had to be A War of Speed by A.J. Baime, recounting the celebrated rivalry between Ford and Ferrari in the 1960s. Sometimes it’s our greatest competitors that bring out the best in us — and that was certainly the case when Ford won The 24 Hours of the Mans in 1967. The format itself captures the dynamism of the sleek race cars hurtling around curves. Photographs above courtesy of Hybrid Design
The Movement in the back of the book always celebrates makers of all types; for this issue it’s all about creative teams of two. Whether it’s London photographer Peter Zelewski, who subject of choice are sets of identical twins, or Gutsy Girl, in which writer Caroline Paul and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton create a inspiring tome to turn the female life into “an epic adventure,” the section doesn’t disappoint.
So, if you haven’t signed up for this free quarterly by now, go ahead and do so here — and you can still get one here if you don’t mind picking up the shipping charge. But, if you want one for absolutely free, I’ve got two pristine copies! One has a dust jacket in Eggplant Strathmore Wove on an Ultra Fuschia Mohawk BrightHue Vellum cover, the other has a dust jacket in Ultra Lemon Mohawk BriteHue Vellum on a Botanic Curious Collection Metallics cover.
All you have to do is leave in the comments here or on any of TPC’s social media pages your favorite partnership: maybe Lennon & McCartney? Romeo & Juliet? Batman & Robin? Something more personal? Don’t hold back! I’ll be taking your brilliant feedback for a week and reaching out the winners the afternoon of June 23rd.