New York and points beyond
8.5 x 11 in, 130 pages
Full color

Have you ever noticed magazines will often have intriguing covers, but when you open them up, either they are really bad, or more of the same bullshit? On first seeing Russia!'s kissing (male) cosmonauts this crossed my mind. I wasn't too sure about the type face of the logo either, as it seemed a bit corny to me. I quickly flicked through, and still wasn't convinced, so it went into the black hole of my magazine desk pile.

Fortunately it fell on the floor a few days ago and I started to read it. The type, which had at first seemed awkward to me, began to make sense the more I absorbed it. This was due in no small part to the excellent writing, which was playful without being snarky, and highly informative about a subject matter I previously hadn't known I was interested in.

Russia! is an English language magazine based in New York promoting Russian art, design and literature to the global community. The design of the magazine is thoroughly modern, though it shows an appreciation for general 19th century design, and (actually) just a bit of Russian design. I still think it's a bit rough, but I like where it's going. The Winter 2008 issue features lighthearted looks at Russia's bribery economy, obsession with conspiracies, space tourism and controversial art.

I'm reminded of Tokion, which began as a magazine to promote Japanese culture to the world, but quickly degraded into just another New York lifestyle magazine. Hopefully Russia! will stick to it's guns (although, with it's title, does it have any other choice?).

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