Custom Book Printing: Publishing Anomaly, an Independent Magazine

Kevin Horn // Anomaly Vol. 1

Searching for a download of the new skateboard magazine Anomaly? You won’t find one. Not one. And that’s just fine with its editor. In a world where everything has gone digital, trailblazing cinematographer and self-publisher, Kevin Horn has joined a trendsetting segment of independents and brands preferring print over pixels with custom book printing.


At its inaugural Minneapolis Behind the Print event, co-hosted by Smartpress and AIGA Minnesota on February 22, Horn told a packed house how edgy new pubs like his are helping fans make a connection that can’t be achieved through a screen.

Kevin Horn Speaking at Behind the Print

A Veteran Skateboarder Maneuvering His Latest Course: Independent Publishing

True to his character, skateboarder turned cinematographer turned magazine editor, Horn seldom shows fear when it comes to radical moves. So, it’s no surprise that he chose to launch a quarterly magazine that will never be available in digital form. Created with Smartpress’ Perfect Bound Booklets, the magazine’s inspiration came from his childhood, when the only way to consume the latest news and moves in the skateboarding world came via his monthly print subscription.

Custom book printing

Self Portrait “Blanket Fort” by Kevin Horn

Exactly How Did This Intuitive Cinematographer Become A Print Nerd?

“My love of print started as a kid, growing up and subscribing to skateboard magazines,” he recalled. “I remember always having a magazine in my hand. Ripping out pages and tacking them up on the bedroom wall. My love for photography probably started then, too. It’s those physical memories that definitely sparked it.”


And wow did they spark something. This 20-something, 17-year skateboard veteran has shot everything from commercials to music videos, skateboard shorts to feature films, authored three stunning art books and now, is the owner and editor of Anomaly, an ad-free, 60-plus page quarterly celebrating skateboarders and their peripheral interests.

Honoring A Culture of DIY Creativity

Horn considers Anomaly both a fitting muse and title. “The magazine was designed purposely not to fit in, like the very audience it represents,” he said. “The title comes from the feeling that fuels many skateboarders and is committed to those who see things differently,” Horn told his audience. “It’s all about embracing life’s flaws, celebrating the imperfections and finding beauty in the filmy grain of imperfection.”


While skateboarding magazines first sparked his love for photography growing up and has fueled his work as a cinematographer for clients like Target and Fiat, his path to magazine publishing and online printing wasn’t a clear one.

Booklet printing

Anomaly Magazine Volume 1

From Idea to Issue In Six Months Or Less

According to Horn, his original vision for this latest project was to offer darkroom workshops or create a co-op studio space for photographers to perfect and inspire their craft. But like so many things he’s taken up, the concept evolved into something bigger, as he explained: “After three art books on the subject, I decided to retell the experience in a new form using the photographic process, creatively letting things take flight in the dark room.”

And with Smartpress’ premium online printing services, the result is nothing short of stunning. The first issue, which sold out in less than a week, coaxes enthusiasts inside with a cover of gritty contact sheet images. Once there, the magazine doesn’t disappoint. A rush of action photos give “air” to an editorial style that’s as honest, authentic and real as the skateboard readers who pore over its pages. Pages like 16 that serve up a top 10 list of skating videos on a hand-scrawled pizza order form artfully photographed with a slice of Sicilian sausage that offers a nod to its contributor, Dana Ross AKA “Pizza.”

Self-publish a magazine

Always in Pursuit of What’s Next

And while Horn currently provides most of the content himself, he says, he’s never short of inspiration because the skateboarding community is such a creative one. “There’s plenty of interesting things happening within the skateboarding community,” he said. “There’s always something to do a feature on.”

Working with a world-class online printer like Smartpress, with custom booklet printing options like binding, paper stocks, weights, UV coating, Soft Touch laminate and more, Horn trusts the quarterly publication will continue to grow over time. He’s sure fans will not only provide subscription support, but also eagerly share their own photos, art, poetry, music and storylines to ensure its ongoing success.

For now, Horn’s focused on finalizing his next issue of Anomaly with designer, Oskar Barrett, and art director, Jake Durham. “The theme,” he says “is refuge.” A concept, he explains, that will be explored not only through his photographer’s lens and darkroom, but also those seeking to find the perfect place to skate during the snowiest winter months of the year. Can’t wait.


Print Details

Perfect Bound Booklet

100# Coated Matte Cover, 80# Text Coated Matte Pages, Flat Matte UV Coating, 7.5 x 10 Portrait Format, 32 Pages

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