I started Kitsune Noir, what we know call The Fox Is Black, back in 2007 not knowing the path it would set me down. At the time, blogging was still sort of unknown. A few people were doing, some of them making a living off of it, yet there’s was still a wildness to it. Cut to now when anyone can create a digital presence with ease, be it Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. I think this is great btw, it’s easy to create a self-expression that fits you, the true you, despite the trappings of your physical situation.
That physicality though, and the constraints associated, are kind of awesome. We as designers do our best work when presented with limitations, they’re guard rails which focus and hone our ideas. So last November my partner Kyle Fitzpatrick and I started down a path to write and design a magazine called BOY CLUB, and as of today, we’re ready to show it to the world.
We consider BOY CLUB a magazine for people who like men. It leans toward the world of gay men, telling stories and highlighting situations that we find interesting, but we created this for people of all genders and sexualities. We intended this to be irreverent and slightly off-kilter, elements that feel completely missing in a world of minimal, Kinfolk-ian inspired publications.
While Kyle handled all of the editorial and writing for the entire magazine (he’s the Editor In Chief) I had the joy (and slight bit of horror) of designing the book, as well as photographing 95% of it. As a lot of you know, I’m a web designer by trade. My current creative director role at Disney has me overseeing the design of sites, apps, creating for social media, video branding, etc. Designing a magazine is something I’ve never done and it ended up being such a great challenge.
To start, I knew in my gut that it needed to be colorful. Culturally gays are an expressive and vibrant group of people, I mean, look at Pride, the movie The Birdcage—hell, we have a rainbow pride flag! There’s nothing about us that isn’t a bit eccentric and over the top and I wanted to own every bit of that.
From a type perspective I chose a face called Noyh, which was created by Chatnarong Jingsuphatada, a Thai designer who’s based in Bangkok. The typeface comes in a regular, slim and rounded version, 72 fonts total, so there was a lot of flexibility for me to play with. I loved that it’s a quirky, odd little font. Again, my goal was to create something with a unique character, that would be stand apart at the newsstand.
When I think of the layout of BOY CLUB, I remember changing everything about 100 times. Slightly hyperbolic but you get the idea: it’s never perfect right away. The first issue is 88 pages, so you can imagine the challenge of bringing cohesion page after page, ultimately telling a story from a single point of view. I love using big, full-width images to capture nuance or emotion with food or people. The hardest part to design was the recipe section which were also the pages I started with. Illustrating a step-by-step process is like dancing to a song you don’t know.
The last big hurdle we faced was printing the magazine. Lots of challenges here were around price and quality. We obviously wanted this to be of the highest quality but we received quotes for 300 copies at around $9,000. No, thank you. Ultimately we printed the book offset on a thick matte paper with a nice glossy cover. Were we excited by the printed result? I would say I’m 95% happy with the final product, which isn’t too shabby for never having printed anything like this in my life. Plus the ink on the paper smells so damn good. Overall I think we’re 100% happy and 1000% proud of what we’ve accomplished. This is only the beginning, though. We’re already running with the production of the next issue and have concepts for the next 3 issues (and beyond), which will be published quarterly.
In order to continue, we’re looking for sponsors and advertisers to be involved. We self-financed the first issue because we truly believe in what we’ve created. Additional help from the design/art/creative community would be amazing. Collaborations in the future would be super fun as well. If you’re interested definitely email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a list of links where you can purchase the first issue as well as follow us along on our journey, which we’ll be updating as stockists pop up.
• BUY ONLINE HERE
• Skylight Books, Los Feliz, Los Angeles
• & Pens, Los Angeles
• ReForm School, Silver Lake, Los Angeles
• Coming Soon: Needles & Pens, San Francisco
• Coming soon: BQDSD, NYC
• Coming soon: Shorthand, Highland Park, Los Angeles