Their relaunch earlier in the year was only the beginning of the celebrations for desktop magazine’s 25th anniversary. A commemorative issue hit newsstands yesterday, taking the concept of an anniversary issue and spinning it on its head.

The issue was conceived as a time capsule, guest edited by Andrew Ashton of Studio Pip and Co. For managing editor Brendan McKnight, Ashton was the obvious choice. “He is so passionate about the Australian design landscape and culture and he has a lot to say about it,” he says.

The time capsule idea came out of a desire to do something different. McKnight says the issue doesn’t spend too much time looking back, but instead, “Is very much about the now and is designed to be a snapshot of the current Australian contemporary design landscape, for people to ‘dig up’ again in 25 years time, to see where we were at in 2011.” To this end, the cover image features Ashton digging a hole in his front yard, ready to bury this time capsule.

Indeed, while including reflections on graphic design in Australia and designers’ favourite design stories, the issue is also very much about today. A number of ‘labour of love’ projects are profiled and there are interviews with graphic designer and typographer David Pidgeon and the state president of the Australian Graphic Design Association Tasmania, Kate Owen. Scattered throughout the pages are the responses of six local creatives to a number of tasks, including photographs of their workspaces and the books they would put in the time capsule.

The centrepiece of the issue is a 16-page visual essay of printed ephemera that both Ashton and his studio have collected over the past 25 years and a pull out poster they have designed. The essay contents will be on display at Lamington Drive for an accompanying exhibition, Diamonds in the Rough, which opened last night and runs until September 17.

desktopmag.com.au