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Ray Gun Magazine


If you have been following our social media over the last year you may have seen the ongoing series hashtagged #PrintHoarding, where we showcase all the collected books, magazines, stickers and other printed materials that have inspired us (and overloaded our bookcases) for the last 20 years. Previously we have featured Lowdown Magazine – The skateboard, surf, graffiti, and lifestyle magazine out of Berlin and Hot Lava the short lived SoCal lifestyle magazine published by the Black Flys. For our very first website version of “Print Hoarding” we decided to bring out the big guns and dust off our massive collection from Ray Gun Publishing, including Ray Gun magazine and sister publications Bikini and huH.


Coming from the popular music magazine Creem, Publisher Marvin Scott Jarrett premiered Ray Gun magazine in 1992 and ran through 2000. Although it had a fairly short run it had massive impact on alternative and indie music, graphic design and typography. Originally art directed by ’90s design hero David Carson and featuring original fonts and illustrations from the best in the business, Ray Gun had no rules or boundaries allowing for both an amazing and at times frustrating reading experience. Nevertheless, Ray Gun was a big deal for the 530 creative team by inspiring us to push our own creative boundaries and ways of communicating visually.


Pile of Ray Gun magazines

Cutting up and hiding article titles

Cutting up and hiding article titles was the norm for Ray Gun.

Ray Gun "Style" section

Ray Gun‘s “Style” section was the perfect marriage of high-concept fashion photography and graphic design.

Ray Gun Magazine spread

Ray Gun Big in Japan” issue

The infamous “Big in Japan” issue was printed back to front causing much chaos on American newsstands.

Ray Gun Prodigy spread

running graphics over text was very controversial

Believe it or not but back in the ’90s messing with the standard column widths and running graphics over text was very controversial.

No page numbers ever – you’re on your own.

No page numbers ever – you’re on your own.

This photo of Tricky taken from a video next to cut-up and photocopied text is everything ’90s design.


Launched as a “More edgy and radical alternative to Playboy”, Bikini magazine featured interviews with indie movie actors, comedians and action sports athletes, reviews of fast food restaurants and gonzo style reporting from a young unknown by the name of Johnny Knoxville.

’m not sure what was the better read, the monthly movie reviews from Dave Navarro and his brother (which never had much to do with the movie) or Arty Nelson’s glorious fast food reviews.

A pre “Jackass” Johnny Knoxville had a regular monthly feature – here the editors send him to Vegas to see if he can survive a week with no money.

Nekkid photo feature with ’90s dream girl Alyssa Milano.

huH was a square format music magazine published by Ray Gun Publishing but owned by Time Warner. Originally packaged with a VHS tape of music videos they switched format to include a CD of new music with every issue. huH was art directed by Vaughan Oliver from V23 studious (known for his design work with record label 4AD).

An introduction to this then unkown rapper – Busta Rhymes

If your geeking out on all this but the idea of dragging around boxes of old magazines covered in ’90s dust is unappealing, don’t worry, the editors were nice enough to take the best of everything Ray Gun and cram it into this visually stunning but totally unreadable book. #530recommends you pick up a copy.