Earlier this week when I came across Forge Magazine, it was described as ‘interactive’ and something that aimed to highlight creative talent across the Midlands, from varying disciplines – but I had no idea what to expect.
What I later found out is that Forge wasn’t founded by a single individual, despite what I thought initially, but in fact a collective of young marketers who themselves have formed The Icing Agency, under the Mac Birmingham’s ongoing Next Generation Project.
A scheme designed to offer young people aged between 14 and 30 opportunities to learn and break into the creative industries, the Next Generation Creative Agency produced Forge – a slick collection of insightful features, illustration and photography.
Ashleigh Moore, the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, though she was keen to point out it was a joint effort between some 10 plus contributors, explained that it was important for Forge to create a publication for emerging creatives and something that would benefit this demographic.
She said: “Sometimes they just need that platform, that little thing that says, ‘Look I’m here’ which will then take them forward.
“We also wanted to give a broad overview of the creative opportunities that are available and the ways you can get into the creative industries so everyone put their heads down and thought about them, what they were passionate about.
“When you look through you’ll see that each person has contributed to this.”
With the magazine’s layout designed by Fused Media – the publishers responsible for the renowned culture bible, Fused – Art Director, Anya Jung created Forge’s iconic cover illustration and designed the exclusive black and white sleeve which was available at the launch.
She said: “It was a collaborate between me and Louise Byng, who works at the Mac, we really wanted to create something pleasing to look at but not too high brow, we didn’t want to go into contemporary art magazine style at all.
“We were influenced by wrap magazine which is an illustrated magazine and also Oh Comely magazine which is lovely – we like it quite a lot.”
To find out more about what was a mysterious new offering in Birmingham’s print world, I spoke with both Ashleigh and Anya, for a not so ‘random’ podcast. (My phrase on the audio, not theirs.)
For more information about the Next Generation programme click here.
To request a free copy of Forge magazine head to their Facebook page.