A Brainy Design Magazine: Monocle

Winnipeg-born entrepreneur Tyler Brûlé, the man behind the influential and stylish Wallpaper magazine, launched a new magazine in London 2 and a half months ago.

aims to meet the demand for serious news, with a mix of articles about culture and style and an international outlook.

Tyler Brûlé says the magazine aims to meet the demand for serious news. Tyler Brûlé says the magazine aims to meet the demand for serious news.(CBC)

The first issue, weighing in at 200 pages, featured a look at Japan's defence forces, a Q&A with the chief executive of Lego and a cultural report about Afghan music.

Brûlé sees the magazine, and its accompanying website, as a product for serious readers, who are tired of celebrity-driven, dumbed-down news.

"I think what people will get when they read Monocle is a truly global title which doesn't live along national boundaries and I think so much media is regionalized today," Brûlé said in an interview with CBC Television.

International Appeal

The more indepth, serious approach should appeal to people dealing with multiple cultures, he said.

"If we actually look at travel patterns — you know despite all of the environmental pressures people are travelling more than ever before — and people are living in multiple cities, whether it's for business, whether it's for lifestyle purposes, and I think we want to be a media brand to reflect that."

Monocle came out in London and Europe on Feb 13th, 2007 and was available in Canada, mostly in airport news agents, selling there for $12.

"I think this magazine will speak to Canadians as much as it will speak to Australians and Japanese," Brûlé said, adding that it's not just for the jetset.

"This is also for someone who might live up in Scotland or someone who lives in Manitoba who just wants quality coverage as well."

Brûlé, who started Wallpaper in 1996 and sold it the following year for $1.63 million, is well aware of the risk of starting a new magazine, but his forecasts are optimistic.

He expects Monocle will be selling 200,000 copies within six months.


The Concept:
We believe it's time for a new, global, European-based media brand. With a keen focus, strong reporting, sharp wit and a more classic approach to design, we've dubbed our venture Monocle. At the core there's a monthly magazine delivering the most original coverage in global affairs, business, culture and design. Alongside, there's a web-based broadcast component covering the same areas through a variety of bulletins, mini-documentaries and talk formats. Focused on informing and entertaining an international audience of disillusioned readers, listeners and viewers, it is our intention to create a community of the most interested and interesting people in the world.

Edited out of London, Monocle is staffed by a team pulled from the world's leading news outlets, magazines and broadcasters. Conceived by Wallpaper* founder and International Herald Tribune columnist Tyler Brûlé, the launch team calls on some of his old alumni and new talent from The Independent, the BBC, branches of Condé Nast and a host of other news outlets. Versed in politics, popular culture, business affairs, media, architecture and design, the editorial team will cover the world from its London hub and dedicated bureau in Tokyo, Zürich and New York. Monocle will be driven by offering original, never-before-seen content to an audience of well-heeled, intelligent opinion leaders around the world.

The Magaine's Sections Are as follows:

A global mix of reportage, essays and interviews with the forces shaping geopolitics.

Devoted to identifying opportunities and inspiring the reader.

With a tight group of opinionated columnists, reviewers and interviewers, it delivers the best in film, television, music, media and art.

Bypassing hype, design is dedicated to unearthing emerging and established talent.

Bite-sized and thought provoking, Edits are vital life improvements curated in a fast-paced well-researched collection.

Below is a glimpse of upcoming articles:

Subscription details:

* An annual subscription of 10 Issues of Monocle for £75
* As a subscriber, you will also have exclusive access to information on monocle.com Written and reported by our international team of correspondents, it will offer mini-documentaries, bulletins and our 25/25 guide series detailing the best places to eat, shop and sleep in the world’s leading business cities and resorts. Examples of this will be available to all visitors for an intial period, but will soon become subscriber-only.

Wanna Subscribe? click here.

C'mon people, it's only a dollar.