You will not find overwhelming pages of hot girls in bikinis or papers on tanning tips in Acid, a bi-annual magazine from Paris that shares the surfers’ point of view on science, philosophy, poetry, travels and art. Interview with editor, Olivier Talbot.
Baron: Let’s do Acid's bio…
Olivier Talbot: We started surfing well after 25, in Barcelona, Spain and that situation put us off-target for the surf industry and off the map from surf culture. Our surfing felt completely different from the usual representations magazines could offer and we wanted to treat the subject with less frivolousness and broader editorial ambitions. We had the skill set to put a magazine together so things fell in place quite naturally.
B.: How does that translate to an editorial policy?
O. T.: We combine into an eccentric surf magazine with an open mind. We cover subjects that are sometimes far fetched, but the point is to produce pieces that feel relevant for us in terms of « journalism » and eventually make you want to surf. That also means that the magazine is readable – and as far as we’re being told, interesting – for non-surfers! Our intention is to create a magazine that’s intellectually and visually stimulating and, also, far from the usual surf tropes. Something interesting for 30 something that love their surfing but have other, broader interests like contemporary art or science. Or philosophy. Surfing as an entry point basically, but with a cultural edge and doing our best to take the cheese out of this so-called action sports. It’s a very personal publication.
B.: Why choose print? What kind of paper do you use and why? Typography?
O. T.: The printing is very basic, traditional offset with a 5th color. Rather cheap, offset paper. The type is the designer’s job so I couldn’t say much about it, except that the point is to convey seriousness, a kind of grown up treatment but with elements of subversion, trying to bring something to contemporary editorial design.
B.: What has been the readers’ response?
O. T.: It’s good. We were sold out on Issue 1 in 6 weeks and Issue 2 is pretty much sold out too. We’re talking about small print runs but still. Then we get the occasional email from a reader about how they liked the mag and that’s really touching.
B.: Good print mags get a lot of love, but this isn’t always reflected in sales. How are you doing, financially?
O. T.: We’ll see this year; we have 2 issues in the pipeline and would like to grow the project enough to pay the people involved, us included. As far as advertising goes, we’ll see, it’s a bit of a question right now.
B.: Are there future projects in the works?
O. T.: Publish a couple more issues and see what happens, and work on another, slightly more ambitious yet very similar editorial project.