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ALTERNATIVES IN PRINT: MACGUFFIN

Dutch design magazine MacGuffin has been gathering a swiftly growing following since its first issue came out three years ago, and deservedly so. Admittedly, at first we didn’t quite understand the buzz – while we are all for mono-themed magazines, MacGuffin’s focus on a mundane daily use object felt a little too specific for our tastes: we weren’t sure if we really wanted to read 200+ pages about windows, ropes or sinks. Surprisingly, though, it turns out we do – at least when they are as intelligent and entertaining as proposed by MacGuffin.

Take, for instance, the current issue, dedicated to ‘The Ball’: Who would have thought that the Mayans invented the first bouncy rubber ball, hundreds of years before a certain Mr Goodyear patented the rubber ball as we know it? Or that ball boys for tennis have to undergo a year-long training before they qualify to fetch balls at grand slam tournaments? Or that the curious inventor of the smiley goes under the apt name of Harvey Ball? MacGuffin is full of these odd little stories. Trivial knowledge, sure, but surprisingly interesting and highly entertaining in its obsessive curiosity about the mundane objects that shape our daily lives without us giving them a second thought. And it does so with ridiculous precision and attention to detail, in content as well as its brilliant design by Sandra Kassenar which manages the feat of looking a little dusty yet modern, rigorous yet quirky, conceptual yet slightly off, all at the same time.

Note the +1 among MacGuffin’s following.

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