The Monocle retail store in London

…and another one in LA!?

I know this is completely unforgivable, but until yesterday, I had never purchased a copy of Monocle Magazine. Shocking, huh!? What can I say – I read too many magazines! You have to draw the line somewhere!

Launched in February 2007, Monocle is an unmistakeably global publication covering international affairs, business, culture and design. Monocle headquarters is in London – with offices also in Tokyo, Sydney, Zürich and New York. It’s painfully brilliant – the content is so incredibly rich, intelligent and diverse, coupled with a fabulous restrained layout and design, including the most impressive illustrations by international superstars such as Always with Honor (US), Satoshi Hashimoto (Japan) and New Future Graphic (UK). I guess that’s what you’d expect from Tyler Brûlé – founder of *Wallpaper Magazine, and director of acclaimed branding, design and content consultancy, Winkreative. Sheesh. Over-achiever alert.

Illustrations for Monocle Magazine by acclaimed Japanese illustrator Satoshi Hashimoto

BUT what I didn’t realise until clicking through the February issue yesterday, is that Monocle also has a seriously amazing online presence… the website is just brimming with extra goodness to uncover, including the Monocle Weekly – a weekly podcast hosted by Monocle’s editor in chief Tyler Brûlé, and a huuuuge library of web-based films spanning every possible subject. I liked this little film about Kyoto’s ’9 hrs’ capsule hotel… and they’ve also posted a succinct little report covering the recent Design Miami 2009 (the news reportage-style voice-over kind of puts me to sleep – but the visuals and Q&A’s are worth watching!).

Editor Tyler Brûlé records a podcast for the Monocle Weekly

You could lose yourself for hours on the Monocle website. It is quite awesome. And it kind of makes you feel like you’re on holiday somewhere very cultural and interesting. If you have any procrastination time left over after perusing The Design Files each morning (thankyou!), you should totally bookmark :)