Elliot Jay Stocks

Co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine Joined almost 5 years ago

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  • Posted to AMA: Elliot Jay Stocks, co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine, former Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, in reply to Jonathan Simcoe , Feb 12, 2016

    Hi Jonathan. Thanks so much for the kind words!

    I’m entirely self-trained as well and have no formal education in design, so I might not be the best person to ask! ;)

    However, there are a couple of great books on typography that I’d recommend, and both do a great job of acting as easy-to-access primers that also get into the nitty gritty as you delve in: Erik Spiekermann’s Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works and Ellen Lupton’s Thinking with Type.

    As for grids, Josef Mülller-Brockmann’s Grid Systems in Graphic Design is the one everyone always recommends, although personally I haven’t read it. For a concise yet thorough overview of grids and page layout theory, I can thoroughly recommend Alexander Ross Charchar’s web-based article ‘The Secret Law of Page Harmony’.

    I hope that helps!

    0 points
  • Posted to AMA: Elliot Jay Stocks, co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine, former Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, in reply to Luke Starbuck , Feb 12, 2016

    Hi Luke! I’m glad you asked.

    Coming up with a new brand is so hard and we went through so many names that just didn’t work. Words come with so many pre-existing connotations, we wanted something that would be easier to remember and write, but act as a bit more of a blank canvas. At the same time, we knew we’d be having a strong focus on a positive work-life balance in our stories and that there’d be a recurring theme of living well but in moderation, so ‘lagom’ — the idea of having not too much, not too little — fitted perfectly.

    We talk about the name in the magazine a bit (especially in the first issue) so when the connection is made it all makes total sense, but even if that meaning isn’t at first apparent when people discover us, that’s okay: the word itself gives us the almost-blank canvas we were after.

    1 point
  • Posted to AMA: Elliot Jay Stocks, co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine, former Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, in reply to Peiran Tan , Feb 11, 2016

    We’re working on the book as we speak, Peiran! :) Watch out for a Kickstarter project in the next month or two.

    1 point
  • Posted to AMA: Elliot Jay Stocks, co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine, former Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, in reply to Sarah Parmenter , Feb 11, 2016

    I’m never going to live that one down, am I?

    1 point
  • Posted to AMA: Elliot Jay Stocks, co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine, former Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, in reply to Aaron Davis , Feb 11, 2016

    Hi Aaron. Thanks for the kind words and for buying Lagom! It’s hard to give an exact date, but usually to that area of the States it takes about three weeks. Hope you enjoy it when it arrives!

    0 points
  • Posted to AMA: Elliot Jay Stocks, co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine, former Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, in reply to Chris Gillis , Feb 11, 2016

    Thanks for letting me know about Oh beautiful Beer, Chris — what a great site!

    I wrote an article for Hot Rum Cow a couple of years ago about my favourite beers that also have beautiful labels. It’s now been republished online: [http://www.hotrumcow.co.uk/beautiful-beer-by-design/](hotrumcow.co.uk/beautiful-beer-by-design)

    In general my taste leans towards very heavily-hopped IPAs and challenging sours. I also got into craft beer through a love of Belgian beers, so I’m always partial to a strong Belgian tripel.

    Design-wise, I’m up for anything. From elaborate, illustrative stuff like those on Odell’s beers to über-minimal, let-the-hops-speak-for-themselves labels like those from The Kernel.

    1 point
  • Posted to AMA: Elliot Jay Stocks, co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine, former Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, in reply to Max Lind , Feb 11, 2016

    Thanks for the invite, Maxwell! And the questions, too.

    • When I started 8 Faces in 2010, it seemed like a crazy idea to start a print magazine. Not only was I a web designer, but everyone was going crazy for digital everything, especially iPad magazines. But I did it because I wanted to create something that would last; something that put me in touch with the physical world. And shortly after that, there was a huge rise in new independent magazines. Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying it was because of 8 Faces by any means; more that 8 Faces and publications of its ilk were / are a product of internet culture. That is, there are a load of people like me who wanted to create something more meaningful than a fleeting screen-based design. (I don’t think costs or options have become cheaper or easier than they were beforehand, but there’s at least an awareness now for what’s possible, and actually print isn’t as scary or expensive as most people assume.)
    • I believe absolutely that there’s a correlation between the move from digital news to print and digital music to vinyl. Definitely. It’s that same desire to have a closer relationship with the medium. You could argue that there’s a general trend for all things retro (like why people loved all the intentionally-degraded filters when Instagram first came out), but I think it goes deeper than that. I also believe that it’s a strong argument for accepting that print (or vinyl) will never die: they exist alongside the digital as something to be appreciated in addition to the firehose of digital media. They’re not competing concepts.
    • Print magazines I enjoy: Little White Lies, Monocle, Another Escape, Sidetracked, Cereal, Makeshift, Toast, Four & Sons, Hot Rum Cow.
    • My workflow has changed massively. I still go to work at the same time (my schedule is influenced by having a baby daughter), but I now have so much variation in my day — so many different things I could be working on, or discussing, or organising at any given time. Oh, and I’ve recently embraced Sketch and fallen in love with it.
    • I’m very restless and have a very short attention span, so in order to stay sane I have to have lots of things on the go, and I have to change them up very regularly. One of my goals in going independent is to get ‘back to the coalface’ a bit more, whilst also recognising that I work best when I’m surrounding myself with people who do things better than me. So, for instance, I’m not designing the new Lagom website because I feel like I’m just too close to it — I’m working with an external designer to bring a fresh pair of eyes to the project.
    3 points
  • Posted to AMA: Elliot Jay Stocks, co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine, former Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, in reply to Judith Mayer , Feb 11, 2016

    Hi Judith. There’s definitely value in revival typefaces and I think it’s twofold: as you mentioned, it should be historically accurate (as a jumping-off point) and new — as in, making the most of it existing in the digital medium, doing things that could never have been done with the wood type itself. Sorry for not being anymore specific — I think the secret sauce is in exactly how the typeface designer achieves that balance between the historic and the modern. Of course, it could be said that simply having the typeface exist in a digital format is enough!

    0 points
  • Posted to AMA: Elliot Jay Stocks, co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine, former Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, in reply to Mitch Bartlett , Feb 11, 2016

    Hi Mitch! Are you in Mild Bunch? I used to work there when Jon first opened it. Or maybe you’re in Hamilton House? We might actually be getting a space there at some point soon...

    Anyway, to your question: I’m afraid I have to hold my hands up and admit that although I love Bristol deeply — and I call it home more than anywhere else I’ve lived — I’m almost entirely untouched by its jobbing design scene. There are some new startups doing interesting things, but I’m afraid I have to agree with you about the agencies. It’s a shame because Bristol is such an independent, creative city, but I do almost no local client work.

    That said, Bristol is the epicentre of an independent publishing scene, so maybe there’s space for you to get involved with some of the indie mags coming out of Bristol. There’s us, Cereal, Another Escape, Ernest Journal, Boneshaker, Sidetracked, Off Life... that side of things, at least, is super exciting.

    Maybe Bristol needs some sort of meetup for independent designers? Big agencies not invited? ;)

    On a parting thought, I’d encourage you to stay independent rather than get a full-time job. It keeps things so much more interesting.

    1 point
  • Posted to AMA: Elliot Jay Stocks, co-founder of Lagom magazine, founder of 8 Faces magazine, former Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, in reply to A B , Feb 11, 2016

    Hi AB! I love technology, and I’m always excited by the new design challenges it brings, but to be completely honest I’m most excited when I’m designing physical products — at least for the moment, anyway. Delving into more analogue technologies is very much what gets me going as a designer right now. Smart fridges be damned. ;)

    1 point
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