Odiseo by
Client: The Flames
Year: 2013 - Present
Tags: Art direction, Editorial design, Self-publishing, Art Direction, Branding, Concept, Identity, Naming, Production, Social Media Marketing
Awards: 3 Silver Laus (2014), ADC*E Award Nomination (2014), Bronze Laus (2014), Golden Laus (2014)

A personal and sophisticated take on erotica

Odiseo arose from the need to explore. The publication delves into two essential needs, the first to explore the territory of erotic publishing and of erotica itself; and the second, to develop an editorial project that dealt with opinion, as opposed to offering the latest news on a particular topic. Unlike most adult entertainment magazines, Odiseo offers a more sophisticated take on the subject, redefining the confines of traditional erotic publishing by balancing philosophical texts and essays with images that lie in between art and erotica. Odiseo had to flee from the erotica stereotypes and from the “for men only” label. We came to this realisation after the production of the first issue. This idea illustrates our mission with Odiseo: explore new ways and offer a different and cross-cutting vision of erotica, moving away from genres and stereotypes.

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Photography by Olya Oleinic

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Photography by Lina Scheynius

Between body and mind, book and magazine

Combining sexual imagery with insightful essays and crossing the boundaries of books and magazines, odiseo defines itself as a hybrid. With Odiseo, we don’t seek to publish current content but we focus on the extended present, retaining the periodicity but doing away with the obsolete. This complex and contradictory nature shaped Odiseo as a small, bi-annual hardcover publication that falls between a book and a magazine. Moving away from the tradition of magazine mass consumption, Odiseo is a publication to be appreciated and read without pressure, it deserves quality time invested into its content.

Folch - Odiseo
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An independent publishing success: from idea to realisation

Being conceptualised and developed from within the studio, Odiseo is a challenge that involves Folch in many processes that fall outside the graphic design category. Apart from requiring a strong network of collaborators and partners, many assets in our everyday work became crucial in a project like Odiseo. This involved naming, distribution strategies, having strong sensitivity and sensibility towards imagery and their meanings with the ability to produce and develop written content. A good understanding of distribution and ways to commission content, both photographic and textual aided the process of this editorial venture. Under the overall coordination of creative director Albert Folch, together with Carlota Santamaría (Los Angeles, USA) for issues #2 to #5, Odiseo is edited by Pol Pérez and product designer Oriol Mogas (Stockholm, Sweden). Starting from Vol. 6, the creative director in charge will be Josep Román. The synergy of people behind Odiseo makes it an outstanding success in independent publishing, contributing in creating “a bold legacy of being unpredictable, entertaining and though erotic by nature—never distasteful.”

A publication for adult entertainment

Odiseo’s first volume worked as a pilot episode. After its release, we realised what we had published wasn’t anything new or innovative and that volume two needed a swift redesign and re-think. We re-conceptualised the project, seeking a different and intimate take on photography, shaping a publication that resembled a book rather than a magazine, printed in an exquisite uncoated smooth paper. Volume 2 was the real beginning. Featuring photographers like Lina Scheynius (who contributed with a series of self portraits), Jo Schwab (‘Habitual Grace’) and Jonathan Leder (shooting Amy Hood). Odiseo’s second issue also included a critical study on hipsterism by Eugenia Lapteva, a long-distance call with Yuri Suzuki, and Timo Mashiyi-Veikkola‘s view on collective identity in mass culture. On its now iconic red spray spine, Volume 2 claims to be A publication for adult entertainment, starting the tradition of the publication’s dynamic, straplines. On occasion of the second volume of Odiseo, CANADA directed and produced a teaser video celebrating the publication through collages, plants, a naked woman and Charles Darwin. The video teaser below has been awarded with a Silver Laus.

Odiseo Vol. 2 teaser by CANADA

Odiseo Vol. 3 teaser by Pensacola

Following the world previews in NYC and Barcelona, the whole print-run sold out in a few weeks reflecting the success of the publication. With Odiseo Vol.3 and Vol. 4, we continued to explore our conceptual approach to eroticism. The third issue —featuring photography by Marc Regàs, Olya Oleinic, and Max Von Gumppenberg & Patrick Bienert— was presented at the bookshop Do you read me?! in Berlin, and introduced through a trailer shot in Brooklyn by Pensacola. The writers who contributed with their visions to the issue theme of ‘Sustainability’ were Ingo Niermann & Martti Kalliala, Joie Reinstein and Francis Neville. 

 

Odiseo Vol. 4 teaser by Zeitguised

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Photography by Jonathan Schofield

“A publication you can read on a plane” was the strapline of the fourth volume printed with a black foil stamping on the signature coloured spine. The issue focuses on the loose topic of ‘value’, explored from different angles by the writers Philippa Snow, Marka Jankovska and Eugenia Lapteva. Followed by a black and white portfolio by Jonathan Schofield, a vision of femininity by Alex Franco, and the impactful and graphic imagery by Olya Oleinic, printed on shiny coated paper. As an exclusive for Odiseo, the contemporary art studio Zeitguised produced the video teaser where selected frames from the video are used as dividers in the printed publication.

The current issue: (Not) Safe For Work

For the fifth issue we wanted to keep evolving. For both a tribute to erotic mags’ conservative paper sleeve cover and a strategy to increase the hype and the fascination around the issue, we introduced changes to the format as the issue comes packed inside an envelope which conceals the cover image. Unlike previous issues, we moved away from the paint splattered spine and the choice of the black and white cover image, instead we chose a painting by artist Ángela Palacios which gives the cover a distinguishable character. We themed the issue around humour and we decided to involve the readers in the promotion and marketing of the publication through the use of the hashtag #undressodiseo. Given that Odiseo has no social media channels, we thought it would be interesting for the readers to be part of the communication process by using social networks to promote a purely offline project. As a wink at this online-offline strategy, the title of the issue pays homage to the Internet slang used to mark links that contain nudity or vulgarity, ‘(Not) Safe For Work.’

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Photography by Arnaud Lajeunie

For this issue we had the pleasure of collaborating with Arnaud Lajeunie, Pol Agustí, Philippe Gerlach and Laura Gardner. Also featured are Luis Cerveró views on the work of photographer Sam Haskins, an interview with Johan Johnsson by our editor Oriol Mogas, and illustrations by Pol Montserrat.

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Alfred Kerbs's booklet inside Odiseo Vol.5

An influencer more than an advertising container

Drawing a clear line in between a magazine and an atemporal publication, the chosen limited advertising is one of the pillars of Odiseo from the start. We believed that alternative forms of brand communication could be found and that Odiseo could be a vehicle for promoting brands and companies who share an affinity with us. Being an influencer, more than a advertising container. The chosen product being promoted with this strategy is something we ourselves would recommend to friends, and has been carefully considered with this in mind. This has allowed us to stay true to our conviction of not mixing advertising with content. In Volume 5 we used the brown envelope to print an advert marking the launch of a new sunglasses brand, Alfred Kerbs, inside the bag together with the publication, a small promotional booklet is included introducing our readership to the eyewear campaign by Alfred Kerbs.

Caring about every detail in production, partnership, collaborations

Finding an alternative model of distribution was one of the most daring challenges we faced. Every detail has been taken into account in order to optimise our distribution and promotion possibilities and opportunities. We chose to manage the main sales directly with the customers, whilst maintaining communication with a network of strategic selected resellers across the world, as well as controlling the subscription system, the limited print run and the periodic partnerships and collaborations with filmmakers and video producers. This informed decision contributed significantly to the success of our independent self-published gentlemen’s publication and its readership loyalty. Production and materials are crucial to Odiseo where particular care has been given to small aesthetic details. Odiseo is printed with the long-lasting collaborator Agpograf, using Arctic Paper Munken Print and Fedrigoni Tatami for interior pages, and Geltex White for the hardcover paper.

 

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Art direction, Editorial design, Self-publishing. The Flames. 2013 - Present