that guy who published Emigre

In the last issue of Emigre (no 69), co-founder Rudy Vanderlans looks back over 20+ years of publishing a magazine that made the design community dance like it had ants in its pants. Instead of a tedious rant or misty-eyed nostalgic piece, we get 69 short stories about some of the goings-on at the Emigre office during each issue. This little pink booklet is a great read for anyone looking into some DIY publishing. It’s not going to tell you how to publish a magazine (Rudy himself says that he essentially just learned as he went along), but it gives you an idea of what goes on behind the scenes. Which is both inspiring— and a little frightening. From the introduction:

It may be premature to wonder what Emigre’s legacy will be and how (or if) it has influenced others. Time will tell. But there’s little doubt it has influenced me. Over time, the magazine came to define me. I was often introduced as “the guy who publishes Emigre.” This always sounded strange to me, as if I knew what I was doing. Editing, designing, and publishing Emigre magazine was largely a learning experience. I still feel I’ve only scratched the surface. Entrepreneurialism should not be mistaken for having some cool ideas and going out on a limb. Ideas are cheap. It takes perseverance and business acumen to turn them into something worthwhile.

And from the brief chapter about issue 21, Rudy says,

I pinned a Bukowski quote on the wall behind my computer. It reads: ‘Some people like what you do, some people hate what you do, but most simply don’t give a damn.’ This sentiment consoles me.

You’ll find a wikipedia stub on Rudy Vanderlans here, and the official Emigre site here.