Good Reads: Decay, Backstage Talks and Beneficial Shock!

Our latest round up of interesting new magazines features one made by young homeless people of London, an illustrated film magazine and another about the business of design

Cover of Decay issue 3


‘Words, images and random thoughts by people affected by homelessness’; the short synopsis on the front cover of Decay’s third issue is as accurate as it is succinct. The mag is born out of a collaboration between homeless charity Accumulate and students from Ravensbourne University.

It is a collection of drawings and prints, messy and disjointed, that are strung together like a stream of consciousness. The mix of styles is jarring and the colours bold. Some pages are more obviously symbolic while others are content to just offer a thought, or an image, leaving the reader to derive meaning.

Overall, Decay is touching and unpretentious, letting its raw content do the majority of the talking, with each page tempting you into its own world of thought.

Decay can be bought online, here


Beneficial Shock! is a film magazine that looks nothing like a film magazine. Rather than focusing on reviews and celebrity news, it uses film and design as tools to discuss wider ranging topics. Its most recent issue takes on the subject of sex.

With entire spreads dedicated to provocative imagery, Beneficial Shock! has as much to say through its illustrations as it does through its articles, which are buried between comic strips and fake cartoon adverts. The subject matter is fairly broad, with pieces ranging from playful to serious; a piece about the male gaze in storytelling is met seamlessly by a detailed history of pornographic films.

The magazine doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations, tackling stigmas tastefully, and using film as a backdrop for a light-hearted discussion of today’s social issues.


Backstage Talks is an interview magazine that explores the relationship between design and business; written for designers faced with the conundrum of how to balance business with art, and how the two should interact.

The magazine is comprised of ten thought-provoking interviews with subjects ranging all the way across the creative business spectrum. In issue 3 these include the design manager of a big firm and a self-proclaimed visual philosopher. Built on the ethos that development requires conversation the articles go in-depth, with detailed discussion of anything from creative process to mindfulness.