6 February 2013
Flash and Unisource launch design mag
TORONTO—Flash Reproductions and Unisource Canada have teamed up to produce Wayward Arts, a Canadian graphic design magazine with a rotating masthead.

Each month, the mag will give full creative control to a different design studio. That means different looks, feels, attitudes, page counts, dimensions, and editorial content for each issue. The only constants will be Flash Reproductions doing the printing and Unisource handling distribution. Even the paper the mag is printed on will change from issue to issue, supplied by different mills.

"Design studios are looking at it as a way to raise their game. It's a healthy competition sort of thing," said Derek Emerson, Flash Reproductions director of sales and marketing. Participating studios have already been lined up for the first nine issues.

Flash Reproductions previously produced Wayward Arts as a cobbled-together annual celebration of design. Art submitted by individual artists was laid out and printed by Flash.

"There was enough interest from the mills and certainly from the design studios that we're going to go monthly," said Rich Pauptit, Flash Reproductions president. "Studios have been so eager to get involved. At the drop of a hat, halfway through the conversation, they say they're in," he said.

"By involving Canada's greatest design minds and giving them carte blanche, all the resources of our shop, and great paper mills, the end result has to be the single most beautiful magazine in this country month after month," he said.

Flash Reproductions' Derek Emerson (left) and Rich Pauptit (right) at the mag's launch

The January inaugural issue (cover image pictured up top) was done by Toronto’s Typotherapy studio. It's 64 pages at 6"x9", side-stitched with a translucent cover, printed on synthetic paper from Yupo. It has a print run of 2,000. The second issue will be helmed by Ove Design & Communications in Toronto, and the March edition by Vancouver's St. Bernadine Mission Communications.

Studios will be working pro bono and Flash and Unisource will provide the resources. The only ad space will be for Flash and Unisource. "The whole book is the designer's aesthetic, so we have to make sure that we're constantly tied to it as well, lest we be forgotten," Pauptit said.

The mag will be distributed free of charge to designers on Unisource's and Flash's mailing lists. Aside from that, the distribution model hasn't been settled on yet, but Pauptit said to expect around an 80% discount off each issue's $30 sticker price for a year's subscription. Subs will become available on the mag's website.

Pauptit noted that Wayward Arts is a work in progress and that a more concrete format and masthead might emerge in the future. For now, though, designers are at the wheel, and Pauptit foresees an enjoyable ride for readers.
— Jef Catapang
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