Magic Papers dives deep into the flamboyant design of magic ephemera

Magic Papers dives deep into the flamboyant design of magic ephemera

Following a trip to Sheffield for a further look into Philip’s collection, the pair went about creating a book that not only appreciates magic’s design attributes, but “the cults of personality within magic too”. Explaining his fascination with the practice of magic Patrick adds: “Each of the great magicians commanded an almost god-like status, created through careful marketing of their unique image. This same sense of competition was also evident amongst the titles, writers and editors of the magic publishing world.” Raising the ambitions of creatives working on these titles also, each publication, flyer or poster Patrick came across “had to have increasingly detailed, attention-grabbing visuals full of bespoke lettering and flamboyant language”.

To mirror this attention to detail in his own title, “the only thing to do was to commission a style unique to Magic Papers,” Patrick tells us. Choosing to work with Kia Tasbihgou, a London-based graphic designer who “creates amazing, complex type that walks the line between functional and extravagant,” Patrick shared a range of his favourite titles to act as inspiration. Aiming to create “something that had a firm root in its historic reference – type that was new but also respectful of the book’s content,” the end result is two styles. One is a reworked version of traditional type foundry Stephenson and Blake’s Flemish font, and another “sharp, condensed titled style that really helped push the type up to its generous size on the cover,” adds Patrick.

Now released for other fanatics, of design and/or magic, Patrick hopes “that magic enthusiasts’ hunger for the kind of periodicals and journals featured within will increase, and that it will create new fans of the wonderful design language unique to this industry.”

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