Kohkoku Magazine


For a brief utopian moment Barnbrook designed the magazine Kohkoku, published by Japan’s second biggest advertising agency. This was as a result of the magazine getting a new editor and attempting to change what had been a lightweight fashion & trends magazine to something with social purpose and a place of real discussion. The magazine tackled subjects such as: how to set up an economy without money, open-source design and why designers and ad agencies are so keen to change the look of something for clients rather than discuss the ethics of what they are doing. Barnbrook’s introductory pages featured political subject matter such as the Japanese constitution written by America after WW2 and the lessons learnt from Marxism. Expectedly, the project didn’t last long, both editor and designer were relieved of their positions after 7 issues and the magazine returned to the lightweight publication it was soon after.

For the actual design, Barnbrook changed the format to square after the Constructivists use of the red square, the masthead was designed to follow this theme. Barnbrook also designed a main title font called Coma. This was also based on a square specifically to make it usable horizontally or vertically with Japanese.

For each issue Barnbrook designed the front cover, back cover and first 8 pages, the rest was created by contributors and the in-house design team.