Avant Garde Magazine Issue Number 1 – January 1968
‘As most of the world’s ills are traceable to old imperatives, old superstitions,
and old fools, this magazine is exuberantly dedicated to the future.’
Quoted (by themselves) as ‘the most exciting and beautiful magazine in the
country today’ it’s finally here, I have it!
Issued exactly two years after my own birth, I thought I’d find something suitable to mark
my half century.
A fan of the typeface Avant Garde, it was designed by typographer and the publishing Art Director Herb Lubalin specifically for the publication of this new magazine.
Later described as ‘culture shocking’ to ‘lush and luscious’, potential subscribers it says
‘must be open-minded,literate,and somewhat unconventional’.
From a launch perspective, the publishers didn’t find it profitable to advertise through the mass media in order to reach new subscribers and believed ‘that the kind of individual who reads Avant Garde tends to associate with his peers’.
Forty-eight years later, I found my copy also in New York only via today’s new medium of eBay!
One article particularly stands out. Annotated ‘Drawings by Muhammad Ali’ expresses his personal views aimed at his religion as a Muslim whilst living in the States at this time.
Ali drew these whilst at his headquarters at the offices of the Black Muslim newspaper
’Boxer, poet, Terpsichore, Minister of Black Muslim Faith and a man of personal strong convictions, unknown to the public, Ali is also something of an artist’.
A fascinating back story is of the Avant Garde logo for the magazine masthead.
It was described by the magazine’s publishers to Lubalin as; ‘Imagine that it was for a European airport’.
Published bi-monthly by Avant Media, 110w 40TH St., New York, N.Y, 10018,
the magazine ran for 14 issues between 1968 and 1971.
In 1964 Lubalin formed his own design consultation company called Herb Lubalin Inc. with offices on both sides of the Atlantic.