Indie Magazines as Brands: Aesthetic Communication and Designing the Kinfolk Experience

  • Oliver Scheiding

Abstract

Over the past years, Kinfolk magazine’s minimalist aesthetics has created a visual voice for a global slow lifestyle audience. Although Kinfolk has become a publishing phenomenon with many imitators, lifestyle magazines are frequently treated as light fare. Pioneering this particular genre of lifestyle magazine, Kinfolk fulfills a deeper purpose of helping readers define themselves. The magazine helps curate and perform lives and strives for authenticity, attraction, and positive valuation to generate short-term affective experiences and long-term cultural value. This article analyzes Kinfolk’s aesthetics as an architecture of relations assembling visual and textual page arrangements that are recurrently meant to be looked at more than read. While current studies associate Kinfolk’s slow lifestyle with Instagram’s blend of people and photography, this article seeks to demonstrate how editors, designers, and art directors have extended the visual personality of the magazine. In doing so, it will explore the magazine’s advanced aesthetic communication, establishing Kinfolk as the template for the millennial set and the culture of neomodernism.

Published
2020-11-12