Soho Home launches new journal with a splash

Soho House is known for its luxe members-only clubs around the world, as well as a growing array of offshoots, like its plush homeware and skincare ranges. So the new Soho House magazine may surprise those who would expect the dimmed lights and muted luxury of those spaces to be translated onto its pages. Yet surprise is exactly what recently appointed editorial creative director Andrew Diprose, who previously worked at titles like Wired, GQ, and Elle, was hoping to achieve.

The magazine, Diprose says, is entirely new, and not a revival of House Notes, the publication that Soho House used to produce before the pandemic. Its launch dovetails with Soho House’s new awards (which he also worked on) celebrating talent across the worlds of culture and creativity, and is being used to support the scheme by housing a range of profiles on the winners. Spot acting elite John Boyega and Paapa Essiedu in the issue alongside fashion designers Harris Reed and Bianca Saunders.

Image from Soho House magazine of a spread on actor Paapa Essiedu

The first issue has a core palette of six splashy, ice lolly hues that pop off the page, while the bold display typeface is joined by a bubbly guest typeface, which Diprose says has “just the right amount of readability”. The hyper-saturated palette is woven throughout the issue: you’ll see it in the colouramas used in the photoshoots, or the illustrations by Lucy Jones commissioned for op-eds, or even in the objects that Christopher Mitchell shot for the still life story.

“I think a lot of what people expect – one, from Soho House, and two, from independent publishing – is very black and white, and is quite spare. There’s a place for that and that’s lovely, but … we wanted to do something that was fresh and bold and a little bit arresting,” Diprose explains.

“I think that’s come from [founder] Nick Jones right at the top. It’s an ambitious company and he wants to keep things moving,” he says of the new direction. “He doesn’t want things to be tight and measly – he wants people partying. He doesn’t want clean plates and full glasses – he wants real life, people eating, drinking, having fun, meeting people, making connections. So hopefully it is surprising.”

Photographs that capture that energy appear in the pages, demonstrating the same kind of raucous, lived-in aesthetic that’s permeating the food and restaurant worlds at the moment. “In many ways you want the photography and the storytelling to be world class, but then I don’t want it to be ‘trad’ either, coming from so many years with Condé Nast.”

It might be a “glorious experiment” but the design still relied on plenty of “geekery”, he insists, whether in the similarity between the CMYK and RGB references that ensure consistency across print and digital, or the ‘golden ratio’ created by the page proportions. “Obviously anyone who is geeky about design is going to love sneaking in a golden section to a page layout!”

Some design elements, like the condensed display typeface and the grid layouts designed to evoke the brand’s square logo, will remain as the “nuts and bolts” of future issues, yet the rest is open to evolution. “It’s all up for grabs!”

Soho House magazine is available in the private members clubs, and will be stocked at selected newsstands and galleries;