Arena HoM/Me +

Adding further fuel to the “New Ugly” debate on magazine editorial design (see here, here, here, and here) comes M/M’s Arena Homme Plus, sorry Homme +.


Adding further fuel to the “New Ugly” debate on magazine editorial design (see here, here, here, and here) comes M/M’s Arena Homme Plus, sorry Homme +.


The French duo had a previous and high-profile excursion into editorial design when they took over Paris Vogue a couple of years ago. The hand-drawn, organic lettering and illustration that was such a controversial feature of that short-lived exercise re-appears here. Features lead off with faux-naif drawings in pencil and felt-tip, while more drawings appear as editorial in their own right, flagged up on the features content page as “5 drawings by M/M (Paris)”

Type choices are, well, let’s say idiosyncratic


As is the cover treatment, featuring a Juergen Teller shot of fashion designer Marc Jacobs (who has evidently been splitting his leisure time betwixt gym and tanning salon)


Incidentally, the images reveal that Jacobs has a tattoo of a magazine logo on his arm: not that of Arena Homme + but US porno mag, Oui, which has become something of a fave in the fashion world – in a strictly, knowing, ironic sense, of course. In the accompanying interview, Jacobs reveals that: “I have an obsession with text and typefaces.” Perhpas he might have a few suggestions for M/M…

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Exhibiting a keen eye for design even then, I chose for my teenage bedroom wallpaper what I thought of at the time as an appropriately manly faux woodgrain motif. Allied to a flatpack pine wardrobe, desk and bed, the overall effect was not unlike going to bed every night in a sauna, or perhaps the inside of a large tree.
Faced with the same choice today, I’d hope that I might pick something a little more tasteful, for there has been a veritable explosion in what we must inevitably refer to as “designer wallpapers” (check out Lachlan Blackley’s book). The latest to hop onto this little bandwagon is Habitat with its new range of Very Important Products, featuring wallpapers from the likes of Christian Lacroix, Julian Opie and even a graffiti version from Bernie Reid…

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