"The Plant" editorial project by Isa Merino and Carol Montpart, former students of EINA
Isa Merino and Carol Montpart, former students of EINA, joined forces with Cris Merino to launch the magazine The Plant. The magazine, in addition to offering simple, personal content to plant lovers, provides a new perspective by including work from creative people with a passion for botany.
Isa and Carol, you met studying design at EINA and later you coincided again at Folch Studio. How did you come to found The Plant together? What steps did you follow and what difficulties did you encounter along the way?
When you work in editorial design, you participate in shaping and enhancing the ideas behind creating publications. This process encourages you to create your own publication where you can transmit the ideas that interest you, collaborating with people you admire or have things in common with. So one day we decided to just do it, and we started working on what is now The Plant Magazine. As for difficulties – there were plenty of economic difficulties as it was and continues to be a personal project and a personal investment. It’s hard, but it also means we don’t have any limitations on what we can feature and nor do we have to please any third parties.
Was the subject matter of the magazine influenced by your decision to publish only in paper? How have you changed the format of the magazine throughout the years, and why?
We believe in print – there’s a huge difference between how you perceive the materiality of something printed as opposed to something seen digitally. It affects how we think about the size of a piece and how it will affect the reader, and we choose the paper and take care with the printing process so as to offer a high-quality product. Nowadays, people consume huge amounts of online content and images, and sometimes they consume them very superficially. When we stop to read a publication and relax enough to look at something printed, it helps us to decelerate and pay attention to the actual content.
The passion for plants brings together a number of disciplines (poetry, fashion, design, music, and so on). Was this your initial intention or has it evolved spontaneously?
Yes, that was our original plan, and it has evolved a great deal over the years. We are ever more open to different subjects and perhaps we stray a little more from the purely botanical to explore the world of nature. A few years ago there was an explosion of botanical content on Pinterest and other social networks that caused us to reflect on what we could offer our readers that they can’t find elsewhere.
What is your criteria in choosing collaborators and themes for each issue?
Everything comes up quite fluidly in meetings. There’s a little bit of everything: themes that we work on for months or even years, or sometimes collaborators propose an interesting idea and we work on it together, or sometimes it arises from our own interests. Depending on the core themes, we work with the rest of the content until we find a balance we’re satisfied with.
Are there any changes planned in the next few issues, or is each magazine defined organically during the process of creation?
Yes, each issue arises very organically. We did a redesign a few years ago and now we’re finishing issue 15, which will be published in February. Of course, we are always looking to change things up and find new ways of presenting each issue so that it provides the element of surprise that readers are looking for.
Last question: What plants do you have at home or in your studio?
The shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot! That is to say, we have fewer and fewer plants, we prefer to have fewer plants that make a bigger impact at home. What we really enjoy is getting out and enjoying nature in the wild or in parks and gardens.