No Man’s Land continues breaking boundaries with its Fall 2019 issue, the fourth of the biannual publication from The Wing, the growing network of women’s work and community spaces. NML gets serious with the special “Issues Issue,” touching on topics like politics, racism, immigration, abortion, work and death, which have been threaded through the magazine’s lively mix of interviews and fashion. The design by Pentagram builds on previous issues, pushing the magazine’s layouts and typography to a freer and less structured place.
As with previous issues, Pentagram worked closely with NML Editor Deirdre Dyer and Photo Editor Emily Keegin to help shape the look and feel of the magazine. The new issue coincides with the launch of The Wing’s first international outpost in London, and the cover star is Adwoa Aboah, the London-based model, activist and founder of the popular Gurls Talk podcast. The “Issues” focus grew out of readers’ requests for NML to explore subjects important to them in their day-to-day lives. Women’s empowerment is key to the Wing’s mission, and NML wanted to raise consciousness in a way that felt true to the magazine’s quirky spirit.
Articles in the issue explore partying as a political act, food as a social enterprise for economic opportunity, and the cultural impact of gentrification. Other stories look at doulas that help guide their clients through not only birth, but also abortion and death; the women in Washington D.C.’s vibrant go-go music scene; a trove of old feminist literary journals; and the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, which honor female-driven startups. In addition to Aboah, interviews include U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, “Hustlers” director Lorene Scafaria, DJ and party promoter Venus X, “Euphoria” star Barbie Ferreira, and the artist Lotte Andersen.
Like the magazine, NML’s design is growing up and becoming more confident in its voice. The pages make the most of the loose, relaxed grid, and brighter colors and more playful typography add a new energy. The cover features an in-your-face DayGlo green, following the neon orange of Issue 03. The magazine opens with a full-spread list of issues that forms the word “Issues.” Type runs in all directions in the redesigned table of contents and the FOB Q+A section. A profile of chef Elle Simone Scott features restaurant receipt typography and greasy fingerprints; an article about the societal demand to work long hours references '90s computer graphics; and the look at D.C. go-go music uses an aesthetic inspired by party flyers.
The eclectic typography conveys the magazine’s diverse point of view. The Wing and No Man’s Land brand typefaces (chiefly Maison Neue, Berlingske and Bureau Grotesque) are joined by a myriad of guest fonts for this issue: Galapagos (for the Lotte Andersen story); Snell Roundhand (for the Carter Initiative piece); and Hobeaux, Compacta, Signal Compressed, Kreuz, Sign Painter and Ziclets, all for the go-go flyers.
NML Photo Editor Emily Keegin has a strong vision for the magazine’s photography, and the new issue includes the perfectly imperfect images of Renell Medrano, who shot the cover feature on Aboah, and artist Olga de la Iglesia, who created the “Trail Blazers” fashion pictorial for a partnership with rag & bone. Maria Medem contributes a series of colorful abstract illustrations for the articles on doulas, and Shyama Golden a portrait of Deirdre Dyer for the editor‘s letter. This issue’s pin-up centerfold poster features the musical hero Queen Latifah, and the magazine includes its (un)usual page of issue-specific stickers to help spread the message.
Order the issue here.