Some things take a bit of time before they start to hit their stride.
When I first heard that Tyler Brûlé, the absolutely brilliant creator of Wallpaper Magazine and Winkreative, was launching a new culture and politics magazine called Monocle, my hope was that Brûlé would create an Economist magazine for a new generation.
But the first few issues of Monocle left me scratching my head, completely unsatisfied. I wanted to like Monocle, but with each and every issue I found myself reading less then 20% of it. It just wasn't working for me.
But then, just when I was about to give up on Monocle all together, on Friday I purchased the most recent issue, #6 (September 2007).
In a phrase, the new issue is absolutely brilliant and unlike the others, readable from cover to cover. The central theme of every article is "nation branding", and from this lens, Brûlé weaves a terrific tapestry of stories, opinions, and perspectives of how countries can be defined as brands.
Finally Brûlé has found a theme that suites his skills and the magazine well.