I recently got chance to see all of the editions of Student Magazine together. It had been a long time since I’d seen the original versions and was great to get the distinctive feel of holding them in my hands.
Student gave young people a voice and challenged perceptions of youth culture, covering everything from pop culture and music to the Vietnam and Biafra wars. While looking through the magazines, I read my original editorial from the first issue. I think it set our stall out pretty well. One part of it highlighted one of the aims of the magazine – to reframe the way young people were seen.
“In the last few years there has been more widespread interest in the student age group than ever before. But this interest has been confined to such mundane topics as clothes, morals, music and hair. This student ‘image’, cultivated by the pop world, exaggerated by the Press, and the continual bane of so many parents’ lives is rarely justified, explained or commented on by students themselves.”
We showcased a different image through the magazine, not just through our words but through our creative designs. We commissioned incredible artists, from David Hockney to Gerald Scarfe, who had powerful things to say, not just pretty pictures to share.
Art can do this in a way like no other medium, capturing moments and expanding our understanding of them.
Another artist, John Piper, certainly nailed the way we were feeling while creating Student Magazine. As my editorial continued: “Putting this first number together was a wild, blind random operation, aiming off in every direction hoping that some bullets would hit. We felt that this original drawing, kindly given to us by John Piper, somehow represented our general state.”
While some of the issues our creative addressed have now been addressed, many are still relevant today. And I don’t know about you, but I think the artwork is as wonderful as ever.