Farewell, Lodown magazine. Publications are crumbling in a digital era, but the seminal Berlin-based art and culture magazine at least ended with its head held high via an exhibition and colossal retrospective for its landmark issue #100. I don’t think that this magazine has been fully appreciated during its lifetime — Thomas Marecki and friends rewrote the rulebook on how to design a page and literally wrote the book when 1998’s Graphic Engineering dropped. Running something like this for 21 years is a significant endeavour and it never ended up looking like a drippy, stencilled echo of its earliest days — nearly every issue from a certain point seemed to incorporate new cover typography and a constant logo wasn’t part of the plan going forward, and it seemed to get contributions from every contemporary artist and designer of note during its lifetime. This blog was heavily influenced by what I saw in the earlier issues (to this day, I’m not sure what the story was with the launch of a Lodown UK in 1998, or when that project came to a close) and the way that it effortlessly united some disparate cultures in a credible way, rather than the naive reach when a contemporary digital outlet gets out of its subcultural depth.
They put on an array of events that set some blueprints in the real-world and the experimental supplemental art issues that dropped since 2009 scrapped contemporary desktop publishing to got back to old phototype setting. Whether you were a regular reader, or whether you occasionally visited, only to find out that the wallpaper had been switched up and the furniture had been moved, that stubborn spirit — as anyone infuriated by a sudden switch to German language sans the comfort blanket of translation can attest — probably made an impact on you in one way or another, and a whole roster of talent rolled through it during its lifetime. Admirably, it seemed to deliberately side step the social media neediness or lapse into listicles of its siblings on shop shelves too. Of course, the squad aren’t going anywhere soon and it seems like a logical end rather than another magazine survival story with a sad ending, and the final contents promises a new magazine by Lodown in July of this year, “with a whole new concept for ya’ll to marvel at” in a tiny font that’s easily missed. In the meantime, the 276 page ending is a freewheeling aesthetic clutter that calls out the cool stuff from that veteran life cycle, and something well worth your eight quid.