Not Your Typical Magazine & The Beardsman Behind It
There are a plethora of lifestyle magazines on the shelves of bookstores and newsstands, and on the pages of the web, but the relatively new publication Lagom is here to change readers’ perceptions of what a lifestyle magazine is truly all about. Founded in 2014 by Bristol-based husband-and-wife team Elliot and Samantha Stocks, Lagom is a bi-yearly magazine with a focus on three very distinct categories; Spaces & Places, Craft & Create, and Escape & Recharge. The first section covers locations ranging from workspaces and homes to hotels and restaurants from around the world, the second section highlights craftspeople and creators who are designing unique one-of-a-kind pieces of work and businesses, and the final section discusses various hobbies and pastimes that the magazine describes as “[helping] attain that all-important sense of balance in our busy, modern lives.”
But it isn’t just Lagom’s content that sets it apart from other publications. Elliot and the team have a very distinct mission to make print publications fashionable and stylish again, and they are working do to so by using the highest quality material for the physical copies of the magazine, as well as giving readers over 100 pages of high-quality and captivating photography, illustrations, profiles, and stories from around the globe.
And if all that wasn’t enough, take into consideration that not only is Elliot himself a beardsman, but Lagom featured Beardbrand’s own Eric Bandholz in their spring 2015 edition. Great content and supporters of the beardsman community? Sounds like a winning publication.
Elliot Jay Stocks
How would you describe Lagom to someone who isn’t familiar with the publication?
Lagom is a lifestyle magazine that celebrates innovation and creativity, showcasing people around the world who have a good work / life balance. We look at their work, their hobbies, and the point at which both meet.
Tell us about some of your interests, and your experience leading up to creating Lagom.
I started out as a web designer and have gradually moved into print design, with a focus on typography. Being freelance for a number of years and self-publishing magazines has made me something of an accidental businessman as well, and I often talk about the intersections of design and business — with a strong entrepreneurial bent — at design conferences around the world. I’m also an electronic musician. Basically I like to have a lot of creative outputs! It’s the only way I manage to feel satisfied, creatively. My day job is being the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit.
Lagom isn’t your typical magazine, especially in regard to the quality of material it’s printed on. What is your vision behind this?
Thank you! The reason I started getting into print in the first place (with my first magazine, the typography publication 8 Faces) was that I wanted it to be an antidote to web design; to counter the ephemeral nature of the web with the tangible nature of print. And I truly believe that if you’re going to do something in print — if you’re going to work with dead trees — then you need to make it something special. I don’t want people to put Lagom in the recycling when they finish reading it; I want it to be something they keep on their bookshelf and return to for years.
What makes Lagom different from all the other magazines out there?
There are so many lifestyle magazines! Sometimes I wonder if we were crazy to add another one to the mix, but I think we’re doing something different. For a start, I think it’s visually different from many other lifestyle magazines: it doesn’t use an absurd amount of whitespace and the two-image cover with the logo in the middle goes against convention. But from a content perspective, I think we’re a lot more down-to-earth than many other publications. Yes, Lagom is aspirational, but it’s also accessible. We tell the stories of real people and the way they live their lives. If their way of life inspires you and you want to do something similar, you don’t have to have loads of money to do so.
Why type of features can we expect to see?
We’ve just released our third issue, which has features on wild swimming in Northern Ireland, an eco-friendly co-working space in Denver, a unique hotel in Oslo, an artist creating furniture made of wood and aluminum in Tel Aviv, the record labels releasing music exclusively on cassette, the cabin studio of Swedish musician Sebastian Mullaert, a new brewery in Brooklyn, an artist making work with items washed up on the beaches of Portugal… that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What does the future hold for Lagom?
We’d like to increase our print run and get stocked in more shops, grow the team, and bring in more partnerships. All of those things are happening, and the business has become sustainable, but it’s a slow burn!
Tell us about your beard and what the bearded lifestyle means to you?
I’ve had a beard since the moment I could, in my late teens. For years, though, I kept it to a goatee, and I’ve only had a ‘full’ beard for the last five years or so. About a year ago I decided to grow it out to get a big beard and now I don’t think I’ll ever go back! I’ve got a lot of compliments on the beard, I give a lot of compliments to others, and I love the camaraderie you get among beardsmen. The beard nod!
How can our readers get a copy of Lagom?
Photo credit: Maykel Loomans