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Works That Work

“Creativity is not the exclusive domain of artists or designers, but something that surrounds us in our daily lives, something so embedded in our everyday experience that it often escapes our attention.” That is the key message of ‘Works That Work’, the new international design magazine founded by Peter Bil’ak, the head of Dutch type foundry Typotheque. Bil’ak himself works in a variety of fields, designing typefaces (including ones for languages he doesn’t himself speak), working with choreographers and dancers, writing, and teaching at KABK in The Hague. He also set up the Indian Type Foundry and was co-founder and co-publisher of Dot Dot Dot, a magazine that mixed design with literature, maths and other subjects. This interdisciplinary approach is reflected in Works That Works. The magazine aims to offer readers a rich and unexpected mix of articles on human creativity in whatever form it may take, be it the dabbawalla delivery system in Mumbai, simplified traffic management in the Netherlands or the refugee gardens of the Shousha transit camp. It also introduces us to the Kwikpoint guides designed to facilitate communication between US troops and locals in Afghanistan and Iraq, and discusses the effect of putting pictures of flies in the urinals at Schiphol airport. In addition, the first issue contains a play by David Ives and an interview with translator Linda Asher. The well-researched articles are available both in print and in digital form for tablets, computers or smartphones. In order to gauge the market before launching, the magazine concept was presented to the public in advance and a crowd-funding campaign set up. The response from readers and advertisers (just 10% of the magazine is reserved for commercial advertising) was highly encouraging: the campaign raised in excess of 30,000 euros; enough to cover the costs of the pilot issue. The new magazine also has its own specially devised “social distribution system”, in which readers suggest a stockist and, ideally, deliver copies to the shops themselves on their travels. Works That Work, which will be published twice a year, sees itself as a high-end magazine aimed at creative, well-educated readers around the world. AN

Typotheque, The Hague (Pub.)
Works That Work. A Magazine of Unexpected Creativity. Issue 1, Winter 2013
86 pages
Digital edition: €8, hard copy: €16, both: €20
ISSN 2214-0158 

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