ICBQ Issue 05 uniquely showcases a balance between maximalism and simplicity
First launched whilst the creative team was still studying at the University of Falmouth, ICBQ was created as a platform to publish and research the exciting artistic outpouring of creatives which had no other stage to reside – showcasing rejected, unused and unseen work. Following the success of ICBQ Issue 04, which included the likes of notable emergent designers Laura Csocsan, Emilie Viscano and Javier Lopez, the end of 2020 saw the launch of ICBQ Issue 05; rolling with the theme of freedom, be it within freedom of context or freedom of practice.
With each issue directed by one of the different co-founders of the magazine, each edition has its own individual identity. This remains no different with Issue 05, yet the outcome is wholly unique. “We felt, aside from talking to our contributors, we could do an exercise around ‘freedom’ ourselves, with the design of the issue,” the ICBQ team tell us, “we divided the 10 features between ourselves, with the idea of trying to own the content within the design.” In doing so, the magazine houses a micro identity for each contributor; supported by a stark and neutral but captivating general identity for the magazine that acts in a way to bolster the work of others, whilst remaining interesting at the same time.
“The issue started off without an aesthetic, and the aesthetic only began to develop as different features were being designed,” they explain, “in all honesty, we weren’t sure how it would turn out,” they add; with the nature of their system relying heavily on the work of the contributors and becoming a system of collation in favour of oversight. The resulting concoction, however, is an impressive feat; assembling an identity constructed of sub-identities developed independently of one another that culminates with an object that is not only cohesive but exciting in its byzantine yet studious design – demonstrating and celebrating the power of collaboration. That being said, it was not achieved without the utmost consideration. “To offset the contrast we opted to develop a blank and clinical style for the pages that fell in-between the features,” ICBQ explain, “these aimed to bring a sense of calm and order to an otherwise spontaneous sequence of features.”
The end result is a vivacious showcase of talent from both the wonderful contributors included within the issue, the craftsmanship behind its design and the contrasts balanced throughout; those of maximalism, simplicity and playfulness. Demonstrated no more clearly than their cover design, ICBQ note that “we designed it in very much the same way as the magazine, passing it back and forth until we had the right combination of elements,” adding “as you can imagine it took quite a while!”
With alumni on their mind, the team opted for MD System from Netherlands-based type foundry Mass Driver, who had previously attended the same course at University as the ICBQ team. Using only MD System for the whole issue, ICBQ tell us “setting one typeface for the whole magazine meant there would be a clear line that ran through this issue,” explaining, “MD System felt really comprehensive and it was a great fit for what we needed.”
As this issue did for the previous, ICBQ hope to “challenge ourselves to design the next magazine in a way that reflected each submission in a more fluid and individual way,” to which we can’t wait to see the results of!
Typeface: MD System by Mass Driver