Marina Veziko and Tino Nyman’s FEW Magazine provides space for Finland’s discriminated minorities
Helsinki-based designers Marina Veziko and Tino Nyman have teamed up for the concept, design and release of FEW Magazine; a self-initiated project that focuses on the minorities in Finland that face discrimination, focusing on the Roma people for their first issue, giving an insight into these communities and providing a space for those individuals to tell their tales.
More impassioned by the topic due to Nyman himself coming from a Roma family, the dynamic design duo explain “the main goal of FEW Magazine is to shake up how mainstream media and majority population view the Roma people in Finland,” often depicted in a one-dimensional and one-sided fashion. Focusing on the latter for the maiden issue, FEW boldly dives into sensitive topics, tackling as much with grace, humour, sophistication and graphic confidence. In doing so, and creating a beautiful object in the process, Veziko and Nyman are doing their part in reframing the conversation and angling the sincerity of the issues towards a broader audience in a more approachable way.
Developing a striking and overtly slick editorial system, the resulting first issue is a masterclass in not only typographic hierarchy and editorial discipline, but also in typographic fluidity and graphic surprise; allowing themselves the space to create their own rules for them to break later on. “Initially our plan was to make something super crazy,” Veziko and Nyman explain, “no creative limits, no rules,” however, eventually deciding to somewhat tone it down to act more accordingly with the content in question. “Somehow ‘overly crazy’ didn’t feel appropriate anymore,” they add, finding further material ways to reference the Roma people; such as the beautiful blind-embossed burgundy cover. “The burgundy somehow felt the most suitable for the Roma Issue as it has a certain luxury feel to it,” Veziko and Nyman recalls, “it makes you think of all things velvety and flamboyant,” they explain, noting how the blind emboss is a subtle visual reference to the invisibility felt by the minorities in question.
With the opportunity to flex their editorial design for the upcoming issues – crafting a unique design for each issue to reflect the aesthetic and topic covered within – FEW is grounded by a bespoke display typeface and emblazoned with an impactful custom logomark; all of which was created with the help of typographic designer Jaakko Suomalainen. “We’re both big fans of Jaakko’s type design, so we knew early on that we wanted to commission him to do something for FEW,” Veziko and Nyman explain, having begun the project two years prior to the launch and asking Jaakko to “make something cool and modern, no creative limits;” in doing so taking advantage of the freedom granted in personal projects. “The main idea of FEW is to stand out from the mainstream media in the way minorities are portrayed,” they explain, “so it made sense that the logo and the custom typeface would also be unusual and modern.” The resulting typefaces are simultaneously peculiar and somewhat illegible, as well as cool and typographically challenging. “It’s like FEW Display symbolises the way in which minority cultures are often viewed by the majority – mystical and peculiar,” Veziko and Nyman add, “it is almost as if the font is a foreign language in itself, challenging the reader to make a greater effort to understand it.”
Suomalainen’s typography, and Veziko and Nyman’s refined application, is paired with Dinamo’s Monument Grotesk and Matter of Sorts’ Quadrant, retrospectively providing both graphic reservation and subtle quirks when applied in tandem. “Both of them have similar qualities in a sense that they’re very timeless yet contemporary,” Veziko and Nyman tell us, concluding, “the font families also have a dualistic essence – reflecting the modern and old world that collide in Roma culture.”