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  A Letter from Phyllis Johnson  


This is the first issue of Aspen, the Magazine in a Box. In calling it a "magazine," we are harking back to the original meaning of the word as "a storehouse, a cache, a ship laden with stores." That's what we want each issue to be.

Since it comes in a box, our magazine need not be restricted to a bunch of pages stapled together. We can do what editors have wanted to do since Benjamin gave his name to Franklin Gothic -- we can put in all sorts of objects and things to illustrate our articles. And each article can be designed as a separate booklet with the size, format and paper dictated by the article itself.

For this first issue, we've started out with a rather dignified format, but who knows what the next issue will be! Perhaps the booklets will be done in the manner of illuminated manuscripts or Japanese scrolls. Perhaps each will be a different size and color. Perhaps they'll include blueprints, a bit of rock, wildflower seeds, tea samples, an opera libretti, old newspapers, jigsaw puzzles. In short, "Aspen" is the first three-dimensional magazine.

Our advertisers are going 3-D too, and planning to put in samples and swatches -- even the product itself. For example, in forthcoming issues, you'll find a ski lipstick, a tiny salt spoon, a new perfume.

The articles will be as surprising as the format, ranging from beautiful picture stories on nature and sports to the more esoteric subjects of art, humanistic studies, design, underground movies, music (always with a record), poetry, dance, architecture, gourmet dining. In other words, all the civilized pleasures of modern living, based on the Greek idea of the "whole man" as exemplified by what goes on in Aspen , Colorado, one of the few places in America where you can lead a well-rounded, eclectic life of visual, physical and mental splendor.

We hope you like our idea. We're enclosing a subscription envelope in case you know someone who might make good use of it.




Phyllis Johnson



Original format: Single letter-size sheet.



Adapted for the web by Andrew Stafford.
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