Monocle is a London-based monthly publication featuring political, social, cultural and global issues through in-depth reporting by its correspondents around the world.
Monocle is a London-based monthly publication featuring political, social, cultural and global issues through in-depth reporting by its correspondents around the world. Launched in 2007 by Tyler Brûlé, Monocle has also offered a series of books, newspapers and a radio channel that runs 24 hours a day. Monocle also operates shops and cafés to reach out to more readers. Its advertorial contents, created in collaboration with many brands, have provided a successful and steady source of revenue for the comprehensive media company.
As we release the 60th edition of magazine B, I greet our readers on paper for the first time in a long while. Since the magazine’s launch in 2011, we’ve pushed through a number of unexpected setbacks without fail, and 2017 provided another year of memories that are sure to remain with us for years to come— for me personally and for JOH & Company.
During this time, while overseeing JOH’s involvement in magazine B, space planning and the restaurant industry, I’ve also worked tirelessly on Kakao, one of the most prominent Korean brands of the digital era. To me, the process of building
a business that helps the world through a deep exploration into analog and digital media is a precious opportunity. The release of our 60th issue brings me back to how I felt when I first started JOH, and I’m very excited for magazine B to offer in- depth coverage of Monocle, a publication I’ve read passionately for a long time.
My time in university and graduate school was before the internet connected the entire world. It was then that I encountered Wired and Wallpaper, and these magazines became channels to the outside world. Not only did their material differ from that of other magazines, but as a designer, I was blown away by their astonishing photographs, experimental typography and attention to detail— from bold editorial formats to printing techniques I’d never seen before. I’ll confess one thing: more than the content, I thought that simply having a copy on my desk made me an awesome designer, and simply carrying it around in my bag made me feel like an intellectual hipster.
After stumbling upon Monocle nearly 10 years ago on a trip in Europe, I can say that the publication greatly influenced my ambitions for B. The long and dense articles proved challenging, but browsing photos and articles from around the world on page still warm from the human touch of a cleanly printed publication filled me with an inexplicable joy that is absolutely unattainable when swiping on the palm- sized touchscreen of a smartphone. It was during those pivotal moments when I thought that the desire to own copies of print media and display them on a bookshelf—despite their decreasing popularity— is perhaps an undeniable instinct, as natural as the warmth of our bodies or the lure of the natural world.
Nowadays, when many people talk of the inevitable disappearance of print media or the analog era and tout the need to focus all of our attention on the new digital realm, I continually try to imagine a world in which warm sunlight and trees in gardens are just as valued as the realm of artificial intelligence and robots. Because regardless of which way we turn, I believe that both will co-exist so as to make our lives even more meaningful.
Suyong Joh, Publisher