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Swallow Magazine

by Evan Orensten in Food + Drink on 18 February 2009

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We liked Swallow Magazine so much we sat down with James Casey, its creative director. This hard bound bi-annual magazine approaches food, and the people and culture behind it, in new and innovative ways.

Cool Hunting: What was the inspiration behind Swallow?
James Casey: Swallow Magazine came about as a result of working on other magazines and sensing that something was missing creatively. We would travel to exotic locations, and I found myself increasingly interested in local foods and where to get the best meals. This resulted in co-opting like-minded photographers as we travelled and that's more or less it. I also felt that there was something missing within the food magazine world, as so many titles seemed to miss the creativity and approach that exists in other genres of magazines.

CH: The visual design of the magazine is definitely part of its appeal. The type, photography, layout and illustration work is great. How did the creative direction come together?
JC: The visual design comes from everywhere and nowhere. It started off as a very simplified layout, but it got added to a little over time. I still think it's pretty simple, although it will certainly evolve over time. As for creative inspiration, I look a lot at photography as inspiration — people like Wolfgang Tillmans are certainly inspiring with their approach to still lifes.

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CH: The first issue is dedicated to the food and eating experiences of Scandinavia. Can you tell us why?
JC: Scandinavia came about at the suggestion of a friend. We were jostling about for ideas, and she had just returned from Denmark and Oslo. After suggesting we look into it, it turned out that the Nordics did indeed have an interesting food scene, but also had enough of the vernacular to make it right.

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CH: Swallow publishes twice a year. Can you tell us about the next issue?
JC: Issue 2 is going to be the Trans Siberian Express. I dont want to say too much more about it, but it should be similar enough to keep people happy, but different enough to keep ourselves amused. It will come out this summer.

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Swallow Magazine's Issue One: Nordic, is available online or at these retailers.

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