Leipzig: MZIN

Photography by B. Siebert.

Hi there! Who are you?
We are MZIN — a store specialized in magazines and books on design and art, run by Karen Laube and Philipp Neumann. We both studied Graphic Design at the Academy of visual Arts here in Leipzig. In addition to running MZIN we work as designers, mostly for print, like catalogs, record covers, editorial design, etc. We also write texts, design exhibitions, host an annual conference and do a little DJing.

So, what is MZIN all about? 
The idea started from my diploma assignment back in 2008. For the theory part of my paper I looked into the magazine as cultural phenomena, its history and renaissance. I wanted to create a store where you could find a well selected range of magazines and books about the latest in design, art and popular culture. Also I wanted the store to be a social hub where you get the chance to meet likeminded people, collaborate on projects and expand your network.

We do presentations, lectures, readings and small exhibitions. In 2014 we released MZIN - THE BOOKBOOK, which was financed solely by crowdfunding. THE BOOKBOOK was a project to document the first 5 years since the opening.

What was the main motivation behind opening the shop?
Basically because there was no other alternatives out there. I have traveled a lot and I was fascinated with all the independent projects with a 'do it yourself'-approach in cities like Berlin, Barcelona and Amsterdam. It was a completely different way of presenting and dealing with magazines and books, compared to the big chains.

What can people expect to find at MZIN?
We offer a selection of international and local magazines and publications about design, graphic design, art, photography, fashion, illustrations, pop culture, literature and more. For us it is all about the visual, the uniqueness, the importance, the originality and the freshness of the publications. We don’t do publications from the big printing houses, or any mainstream stuff. In some ways you can say our selection is curated. Some of our all time favorites are Lodown, 032c, Tunica, Space Magazine, Modern Matter, and Pin-Up. A couple of more recent favorites of are Publications by Brian Roettinger, Irma Boom, Mike Meire and Etudes Studio. Getting the chance to offer magazines like these makes us happy!

Let's hang out in your neighborhood. What to do? 
We are situated at Kolonnadensbrasse 20 in Leipzig. The current location, where we have been for the last two years, used to be a flower store and before that an artist residency. We are located on one of the nicest streets in town, with no cars. It is a ten minute walk to Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church) and the city center. In addition we have the art school, small galleries and nice cafes a short walk away. Leipzig is a city for bikers so you can reach everything quit easily. I always recommend checking out the Museum of applied arts (Grassimuseum) and the Monument of the Battle (Völkerschlachtsdenkmal), which is really impressive!!