The Carton

The Carton is the only source I’ve found that I can relate so closely to in terms of the content and the overall look of the magazine for my self initiated brief outcome. I’m still waiting on the delivery of two more editions of The Carton and only currently possess the first edition which I came across back in 2013 at a tiny Art Fair in Dubai.


“Bless the brains of Luana El Turk for the constructive graphic input, Joumana Accad for the yumminess, Kamal Mouzawak for being Kamal Mouzawak, Shereen Zahid for the midnight rambles, Joe Challita for being absolutely fabulous and Jessica Matino for snapping it, Alex Kent for sinning, Wissam Eid for the visual madness and Diala Dajani for the besto pesto.”

The content of the magazine is broken up into 19 sections, consisting of articles, comic strips, photographs, illustrations and recipes.

There are many double pages gracefully and cleverly covered with photographs, some grainy, some overlaid with text, each printed on thick white paper but, for me, are the heart and soul of the magazine. Elements from some of the photographs, for example, the moroccan themed floor tiles in a restaurant are cut and copied to be used as a border for the following article which is something I love about this magazine.


The Artisan With Marzipan

This article opens with a beautiful, vibrant picture followed by a minimal title page and short description. Followed by an article written by Joe Challita, “a Lebanese-Australian haute couture designer” who writes about how he stays connected to his cultural roots and childhood through the senses and culinary skills whilst living in Sydney. The article flows across 8 page spreads, coloured with stunning photographs of exotic foods, recipes, memories and indulgent explanations.

Ant The Eater – The Carton sits down with the exclusive chef of St. Elmo’s seaside Brasserie and Cro Magnon Steakhouse & Bar.

White bold text overlays delicately shot black and white photographs, a short interview with the chef covers the right hand corner of a double page spread where he talks about his memories of food and his working day. Similar to Joe Challita the chef talks about his memories through his senses, the smell of Mum’s cooking and childhood memories.

By The Cover

My absolute favourite article of the entire magazine. It talks about a company called


I grew up with a strong Islamic background, knowing what a ‘miswaak’ was and the traditional use of it.

“The miswak is considered to be the oldest toothbrush in history. It has been used for centuries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central & Southeast Asia. In Islam, it is considered “sunnah”, referring to an essential manner of life recommended by the Prophet (PBUH).”

This Toothbrush has taken the traditional use of the miswaak, sourced in Pakistan, and made it into a contemporary designed toothbrush for the Western world. To find the full story of the company (which is also brilliantly written about in The Carton) go here.

By coming across articles such as this one that I could really culturally relate to and reminded me of my childhood really struck my interest and made me want to create that feeling for someone reading an article in my book for the self-initated project.


The rest of the content of The Carton is filled with witty illustrations, interviews with chefs and bands about there beginnings and music and even reviews of upcoming and newly opened restaurants to check out around the Middle East.

I’m extremely excited to receive my newer copies of The Carton and am sure just by looking at the covers of them I’ll love and intensely dive into their contents as passionately as I did with edition one.

– Update: Friday 7th October –

I just received N.11 of The Carton in the post! It’s a hard bound book!!!

I am shocked (and a little disappointed) that I opened this edition of The Carton to a giant double page Mercedes Benz advertisement.. moving on from the ad the magazine returns to the format I know and love, a more minimal page with the new logo celebrating “organic growth and champions balance.”

In comparison to the first edition, this new copy has come a long long way in terms of its cleaner layout which is visibly noticeable from the first page and table of contents to the back cover which now includes a blurb of the contents within the magazine.

All the articles in this edition are presented in a more formal and smaller font to the first magazine. They are all followed by a series of beautiful photographs to go alongside each article, all on clean minimal pages carefully placed through the double page spreads of the magazine. The entirety of the content reminds me so much of the ‘News of the World’ project I did in second year (which can be found here.)

This edition of The Carton is very noticeably different, with less articles and more of a minimal, spread out layout. There aren’t any illustrations or comic strips included but the photographs included throughout cover the colour and creativity that a magazine needs. Especially a series by Christina Chi Craig which is the last article of No.11 and a perfect and stunningly aesthetically-pleasing conclusion for this edition.

– Update: Saturday 8th October 2016 – 

I sent an email to the creators of The Carton asking them a few questions regarding their inspirations and progress it the magazine has made from the 1st to the 14th edition. I received a wonderful reply two days later answering my questions!

Jade George from artandthensome on The Carton:

“Things have changed and developed since issue N.1, including:
  1. Going biannual after the 10th edition to focus on the potential of what we can do on the ground in parallel to print
  2.  Releasing two special hardcover editions before launching our new 16x23cm format (we already have 2 of these out and another one on the way). Try to order the more recent issues to get a sense of where we are now – not to say that all 14 aren’t worth collecting. This one is the latest (
  3. We’ve opened The Carton Shop – an extension to the magazine where we’ve launched a few new ranges of products that we design and produce with the same philosophy. We’ve expanded our paper range to wrapping paper, framed prints, postcards and greeting cards for succulent plants. Also, we’ve been distilling our own arak which is now available at the store. Instagram (@thecarton) is a good place to follow our updates.
Inspiration is all around us. We try to get our inspiration from things that aren’t particularly obvious to the mediums we’re working on. Anything can be an inspiration really.”

 – Update: Tuesday 18th October 2016 –


I received the Autumn 2013 edition of The Carton in the post yesterday, the cover is illustrated with geometric shapes in Kandinsky style bursting out of an egg shell. It’s the perfect cover to prepare you for what’s contained inside. The running theme through this edition is eggs; cooked, photographed and described. After the first edition I think this is my second favourite out of all the releases. The articles are focused on expats and residents of the UAE or Saudi Arabia and how they have discovered and experienced new tastes and cultures, whether similar to their own or completely different. Each article is written with such passion that it makes you want to run home and taste your grandmothers cooking. Again, this edition is beautifully combined with cleverly laid out photographs across double page spreads and to my delight, a lot more illustrations than the later hardback edition. Simple and paperback, The Carton once again captures my interests and makes me indulge in every photograph, illustration and written article.

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