We got our first look at the brand spanking new monthly magazine Monocle this weekend. We were expecting something exceedingly well-designed and clever. We feared that pretty and clever would feel vacuous, like a superimposition of Wallpaper* in-jokes on top of the Economist‘s free market editorial.
Turns out our fears were misplaced, and that, more to the point, it’s possible to create a visually compelling monthly newsmagazine in sync with world events though independent enough to follow big stories because they’re sheerly interesting.
As evidence, here are some of the stories that compelled us to nest this past weekend over our copy of Monocle: an article on low-cost Aussie carrier Jetstar; an analysis-by-numbers brand breakdown of Swiss supermarket chain Coop; lengthy articles on the Japanese Navy and Chinese investment in Africa; an interview with Andrés Velasco, Chile’s Finance Minister; fashion spreads shot in Okinawa and Berlin, and a multipage ”Inventory” section packed with item of interest: magazines, underwear, weekend break destinations, even mineral water.