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Made in Britain

April 20, 2017

6 independent magazines that will boost your creativity

By: Luke

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At GB Labels, we’re big on beating creative block. There’s even a whole section on our site dedicated to battling that blank feeling you get when you open up an empty sketchpad. From changing your surroundings to asking opinions from your friends, there’s plenty of ways to get your design-mojo back.

One of the best ways to get into the creative zone is to flick through a fashion magazine. And while you might enjoy poring over Vogue or Elle, the freshest flashes of inspiration are more likely to come from quirkier publications.

We’re living through an indie print revolution. Visit high street gems like Ideas on Paper (our local indie mag retailer) or subscribe to Stack and you’ll soon discover there’s a magazine for every niche audience. Yep even artsy cat enthusiasts from Japan.

In a nutshell, independent mags offer a diverse perspective on what’s new and next in culture, fashion, music and art – vital if you need to come up with innovative designs every few months.

With so many fantastically unusual magazines out there, it’s important you discover (at least) one that’s going to push you to create your most imaginative designs yet.

If you’ve got a collection deadline looming, a final project for your design course or just want to try a new aesthetic – grab a cuppa and the biscuits pronto. We’ve cherry-picked our office favourites for you to invest in:

Oh Comely

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Thoughts from new writers, photographers and illustrators lie at the heart of this beautifully styled magazine. Each issue is centered around an abstract topic (past themes include: ‘adventure’, ‘strength’ and ‘magic’) and is presented in an artbook style.

We also love the magazine’s inspiring #OneGoodThing hashtag (ideal for keeping motivated) and the playlists that reflect each issue’s theme.

Hole & Corner

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A celebration of ‘craft, beauty, passion and skill’, Hole and Corner is a feast of inspiration for any designer. Combining in depth interviews with rich visuals, each issue explores how creativity flows – for example, their most recent issue shows how different creatives are inspired by the landscapes around them. For an extra dose of inspo follow their expertly-curated Instagram feed.

The Gentlewoman

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Describing themselves as a magazine that celebrates ‘modern women of style and purpose’, The Gentlewoman is a bible for designers more concerned with personal style rather than fast fashion trends.  

Past cover stars include women known for their timeless, fearless style – think Bjork, Sofia Coppola and Vivienne Westwood. It’s the perfect inspiration if you want your collection to stand the test of time.


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Featuring super-colourful tutorials on craft, cocktails and cake, Caboodle empowers readers to think “I can make that!”. Whether you fancy trying your hand at a new sewing technique or need some cupcakes to keep you going (we’ve all been there), Caboodle has got you covered.

And if living life creatively is your thing, you might also like Mollie Makes – a magazine similar to Caboodle that focuses on the latest in crafty trends and easy-peasy tutorials.  


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This lifestyle magazine has pretty much become a lifestyle itself. Dedicated to the pursuit of Slow Living, each issue has a minimalist aesthetic and delves into topics such as: home, work, style and culture.

Kinfolk might be considered the ‘Marmite’ of the magazine world, but you can’t ignore the influence of the brand. Considered to be a leading lifestyle authority, Kinfolk is essential reading  if you want to spot trends and themes before everyone else does.  

Pom Pom

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British wool is booming and we couldn’t be more proud. It’s also one of the reasons we were so thrilled to discover Pom Pom – a quarterly magazine that shows the modern side of knitting, crocheting and craft. If wool is your thing, you’ll love how the magazine focuses on the joy of making, which can often be forgotten when you’re sewing your fiftieth skirt or blouse. We also need tickets for PomFest. Immediately.

Let us know your favourite reads
If we’ve inspired you to pick up a copy of something new, we’d love to see your #MagazineFlatlay. Tag us in a snap on Instagram and let us know what new magazine you’ve tried.

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