Hi and welcome to the latest edition of my new Magazine Series. This week I am featuring the latest editions of ‘Oak the Nordic Journal’. Oak is a leading international biannual publication that celebrates the finer things in life and explores the resonance of the Nordic Approach. and each edition has a special focus. The two I have kindly been sent by Oak are editions 5 and 6 and they focus on Love and Global Local Issues. As I flick through the thick paper pages of Oak I notice that it is more than a magazine, it is a masterpiece. Each edition is released solely in hardback and boasts over 200 pages of read-worthy content. It invites you to absorb every once of ink on the page and to fully immerse yourself in the journal. This isn’t something you can read with the TV on in the background, or flick through when you have a spare 2 minutes. Each and every edition of Oak is a piece of art and deserves to have your full concentration.
Edition 5 is ‘all about love’ and the journal focuses in on people’s stories, as well as things that the Oak Team personally love. It can range from people, to food, to music to places, practically anything deserving of love. The editions feature lengthy, in-depth articles, alongside shorter paragraphs on something small they wanted to include, such as the story of 5 people’s first loves. It follows the journey of individuals on this crazy rollercoaster of love and although we may not have heard of many of these individuals before, that actually enhances our reading pleasure. It isn’t about the people, it is about their stories and experiences and the emotions conveyed through the writing.
One feature which really gripped my attention was the story of a Danish couple, singer and an artist, who discuss the notion of creative immersion being as powerful as love and their relationship with both each other and their art. At the moment I am craving truthful personal narratives, away from the modern celebrity culture and Oak provides me with just that. The couple discuss themes from their childhood right through to parenthood and we get a sense of ordinary people behind the labels of ‘singer’ and ‘artist’.
Each edition of Oak is separated into several sections such as ideas, finer things, visionaries to give a few examples and this gives the edition clear focus points to help the flow and structure. One special feature of Oak is it’s ability to split up larger narratives with pages featuring small nuggets of information. Often magazines move directly from one large feature to another, with no break in between to show their importance. But Oak navigates itself around the pages very cleverly, giving the reader time to digest each feature.
The thing that brings each edition to life is the incredible imagery. The detail of every shot is sprawled onto the pages with immaculate attention to detail. I am a great lover of the nordic way of life, from their design to their values and this journal is a physical embodiment of this. The images are very clean and bright, the colours being specifically chosen to work together. It is the perfect publication to read to find creative inspiration as there is a lot of variety, from strong minimalism, to nature as well as a large focus on people photography. Every part of Oak the Nordic Journal has impeccable design features. Small details that not everyone would notice at first glance; the small oak leaf logo which sits central at the top of many pages, the use of very thin lines to break up pages which make it much easier on the eye, to the changes to a lighter title font when the images are more minimalist. I have so much appreciation for a publication that pays so much attention to the smaller details, as they have such a large impact on the reading experience.
If you are a lover of the Nordic lifestyle, have an eye for Scandinavian design or are passionate about ideas surrounding slow-living or sustainability, I urge you to pick up a copy of Oak. I can tell you now that these will stand the test of time and will remain a feature on your bookshelf for many years to come. It is rare in today’s times that so much effort is put into physical hardback journals but I am so thankful that Oak is keeping this alive. This journal celebrates the finer things in life and I think it has become just that.