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Work / Publication

Chicago-based studio Nonporous creates mag about the subculture of trucking

Chicago-based publishing studio Nonporous has created a new mag called Lifeblood, which is “dedicated to preserving and documenting experiences of driving long-haul”. Nonporous hopes to highlight the importance of this subculture, seeing truckers as “the ‘lifeblood’ to consumerism and capitalism – without truckers, America stops”.

Kevin Mccaughey, founder of Nonporous explains: “Like a lot of people from central America, most of my family is spread out over a handful of neighbouring Midwest states, specifically along Interstate 35. This meant countless farmland excursions in tandem with long-haul truckers. Fast-forward to being in graphic design studies with increasing visual sensitivity, trucking came back into my life as a source of visual energy. Loud, valiant graphics and bureaucratic codes that embellish cabs and containers are equal parts stunning and terrifying while passing the 18-wheeler on a two-lane interstate.”

In the first issue of Lifeblood there’s written and visual stories from truckers “pulled from printed matter and drowsy trucker forums”. There’s also personal experiences shared from the team, photos from on the road and another visual series from photographer and Nonporous’ friend Richard Anderson. Throughout the publication the studio uses Günter Gerhard Lange’s typeface Imago, an “unassuming sans from 1982 that holds tough and expressive characters, which come out nice in its Extra Bold setting”.

The team has also been inspired by old issues of Overdrive Magazine from the 1960s and 70s, which “capture the raw energy and spirit for the golden age of trucking”. Nonporous echoes this ethos by using blocky layouts, energetic type and cheap black and white printing, with the addition of “sparse but blazing” spot colour.

Kevin sees Lifeblood as giving the studio a platform to really explore trucking, its origins and its future. “Truckers are fascinating because of their thankless and also stigmatised role in US culture. The claim that ‘automation could replace 1.7 million American truckers in the next decade’ is an alarm to preserve its visual contributions but also to initiate an important enquiry by visiting its histories, issues and myth,” he explains. “As one digs into trucking, one can see how it has shaped the world we live in today.”

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Nonporous: Lifeblood

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Nonporous: Lifeblood

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Nonporous: Lifeblood

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Nonporous: Lifeblood

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Nonporous: Lifeblood

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Nonporous: Lifeblood

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Nonporous: Lifeblood

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Nonporous: Lifeblood

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Nonporous: Lifeblood

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Nonporous: Lifeblood

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Nonporous: Lifeblood