A city of ideas
Bath is a melting pot of creativity and inspiration and nothing epitomises that sentiment more than independent and niche magazine retailer Magalleria
Photography: Kasia Fiszer
It’s fair to say that Broad Street does not offer one of Bath’s postcard vistas. But it is an important arterial route, one that boosts the volume and variety of those trekking past our magazine store here each day. When we opened in 2015 – I’ll be frank – we didn’t know a lot about magazines, but fortunately many of the people who walked in the door did, and we learned early on that a staggering number of indie mags originate in Bristol and Bath. Many happen to be our bestsellers. Bath is clearly a city of readers, too, because we sustain some of the most acclaimed independent bookshops in the world.
So it seems that Bath is a place of ideas, particularly when it comes to print matters. Batting away speculation about the death of print, magazines still perch in the upper hierarchy of present day information sources. They’re perfectly calibrated to capture and articulate our thinking. Web-derived news and opinion is in flux and unverified, while a good book will undergo a lengthy production process and is far from agile. Furthermore, those who feel they ‘have a book in them’ will have to trawl around for an agent or publisher, or accept having to put it out themselves. Unless your big idea is self-contained, periodicals are by comparison a quick and effective way to publish your work, with improved odds of getting it noticed. As well as a considered and convenient read for those buying them, magazines offer the publisher a rolling framework for exploring ideas that’s responsive to ongoing events. And, like the one you’re reading, they can be manufactured as a design jewel. Print technology and access to funding is much improved, so is it surprising that a great many people are now utilising the format for their own creative expression?
Chróma: an exploration on colour
This brings us to Chróma, the latest magazine created by a Bathonian. Emma Phillips is an alumna of The Royal High School and regular visitor during her university breaks. Having interned on an elite fashion title, Emma told us she wanted to publish a magazine exploring colour, one issue at a time. To mark 2017, in her words ‘a year of blood, shooting, wild-fire and extreme politics’, she elected for red. Chróma is a deft melange of photography, graphics and creative writing that catapulted into chic retail stores and caught the eye of leading taste-makers. It usefully demonstrates how quickly your inspiration might become material when cast in the right medium.
Oh, and perhaps when being in the right place…
Magalleria, 22a Broad Street, Bath