Launched in September 1998 as a thick, square, small-scale pocket book with the slogan ‘Small tank, big fish’, TANK is a quarterly magazine based in London. The magazine is preoccupied with the very concept of contemporary culture, covering art, fashion, music, news, and architecture. Their editorial platform is non-conventional. As a relatively non-commercial outlet, they are driven by aesthetic and ideas rather than advertising – their aim to disrupt the homogeneity and over commercialization in the magazine industry.
Somewhat unknown outside the ‘arty’ circles, the magazine has developed ‘an idiosyncratic, distinct voice through design, critical approach to writing and eclectic style’.
Throughout their publishing history, TANK has embodied a variety of different forms, from a miniature pocket book, to a wiro bound mag, their finalized product conforming more to the industry standard of a bound magazine.
A pioneer of the ‘bookzine’ publishing trend, TANK went on to produce their TankBooks series in 2010. The series pays tribute to one of the most iconic designs in the history of packaging, whilst paying homage to canonical works of literature. With their flip top, silver foil and cellophane wrap, complete with metal tin they could easily be mistaken for the classic cigarette packets they pose as.
Beautifully compact and surprisingly unabridged, these miniatures aren’t just a few chapters or a mere summary. The series of six is small but perfectly formed; featuring authors Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Leo Tolstoy and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Cleverly advertised as ‘Tales to take your breath away’, and urging people to ‘Reignite [their] passion for literature’, TankBooks are classic literature, classically presented – and a credit to great design and great literature alike.