From a great idea to the greatest light magazine in the world

Following the public presentation of ILLUMINATOR on October 31, 2012 in ”Architekturgalerie″ in Munich, a little later the New York Times featured an article entitled ”The Big Picture″. In one shot ILLUMINATOR became a concept and idea familiar to a million NYT readers − and duly found its way into important collections and libraries:
California College of Arts, San Francisco
Connecticut College, New London
Harvard University, Harvard
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Museum of Modern Art Library, New York City
Nieman Foundation for Journalism, Cambridge
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
Princeton University, Princeton
Ringling Museum Art Library, Sarasota
School of Art, College of Fine Arts, Tucson
Technische Universität TUM, München
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Thomas J. Watson Library, New York City
The Visual Arts Library, New York
University of California, Santa Cruz
Vitra Design Stiftung, Weil am Rhein
The Edition
To finally turn light into an emotional experience, printed on paper, and present it as a visual experience in an appropriate form; this is what the ILLUMINATOR aspires to do. But why should something succeed so many others have failed in the past? Quite simply it just requires a sizeable portion of courage and a little ″megalomania″. Creating the greatest light magazine in the world is the not-so-modest objective of those behind ILLUMINATOR: Gerd Pfarré and Frank Koschembar. The format alone − nearly 1 meter wide and 68 centimeters high when opened out − makes light palpable in print form for the first time ever. You need a rather large table to read ILLUMINATOR; it takes time, effort and calls for your undivided attention. As a reward the reader undergoes a visual and haptic experience that no longer bears any comparison to reading a conventional magazine. ″Reading″ ILLUMINATOR is more like visiting an exhibition where you can sit back and reflect upon the impressions. ILLUMINATOR appears six-monthly in German and English.
Daring, dogged and unwieldy
A magazine about light, and in this format? Rather crazy in times like these − as some are sure to think. And perhaps it is. But that is precisely what a great idea needs, and is at the same time the wonderful thing about ILLUMINATOR: This edition is different, it requires space and time. It is demanding on the reader but leaves them satisfied; it isn´t suited to a trouser pocket or an inflexible intellect. ILLUMINATOR is a great project, great in format and great in content. An audacious magazine, which has found many enthusiastic readers all over the world since its launch. In our fast times with inflationary Pixel consumption on small screens, unlimited mobility and flexibility it is high time a magazine like this came along. Daring, dogged and unwieldy, it demands that you open up your senses, and is the answer to iPad & Co. It rewards with lasting impressions.
Content-wise, ILLUMINATOR explores light in all its facets: from art and culture, design and architecture, to science and everyday culture. In doing so the magazine consciously focuses on visual enjoyment. The large-format images are complemented by useful information, vital to understanding them. Nothing more, nothing less. In the second issue of ILLUMINATOR artist Olafur Eliasson presents a fascinating sequence of his works, which were selected exclusively by him for ILLUMINATOR 02. American artist Janet Echelman shows a selection of her fantastically delicate, airy, glowing sculptural net structures. Ulf Erdmann Ziegler gives an amusing and sharp-tongued account of the consequences of banning the bulb. The photographs by Petra Spielhagen reveal mercilessly just what light can do. Her shots of ”lit normality″ are disturbing. The team of United Visual Artists numbers amongst the most creative light makers in the world, and stimulate our senses. Whether austere structure or ephemeral figure, they stand out in the large format ILLUMINATOR 02. Last but not least: Moritz Waldemeyer. The ”electrical poetic genius″ has succeeded in impressively combining technical innovation and poetic illumination.
Where it all began ...
Gerd Pfarré and Frank Koschembar are good friends, and have been all their lives. Gerd Pfarré is a lighting designer with heart and soul. He develops and realizes lighting concepts for buildings all over the world; the awards are piling up in his Munich studio. He loves light and his job. ″The longer you work with light the more interesting it becomes,″ he says. Frank Koschembar is a communications designer, author and university lecturer. He runs an agency in Frankfurt and has a passion for magazines, books and anything printed that stands out from the mainstream. ″Printed in High Gamut Workflow, ILLUMINATOR 02 is a sensation. It is the clearest, most brilliant and most distinct print I have ever seen on uncoated paper.″ The idea to make a magazine about light and pictures came about several years ago and has continually developed in the two men´s heads ever since. Inspired by the art magazine THE MANIPULATOR, established 1982 in Düsseldorf by Willy Moser and David Colby and successfully published until 1994, the unusual format was soon determined too: 98 x 68 cm, as big as possible, the largest continuous area that a customary printing machine can manage. Because as Moser and Colby had already ascertained: Size matters.
The LightingPress publishing house
ILLUMINATOR magazine is published by LightingPress, which was established in April 2012 by Frank Koschembar and Gerd Pfarré in Munich. Alongside ILLUMINATOR additional publications are planned, all of which have one thing in common: A topical focus on light − in nature, culture,architecture, art and design. Founders and editors Gerd Pfarré and Frank Koschembar are happy to provide further information on LightingPress and ILLUMINATOR magazine:   
ILLUMINATOR 01 "Bioluminescence" has been released in October 2012, ISSN 2195-2299
ILLUMINATOR 03 will come out in March 2014 to coincide with the LIGHT + BUILDING trade fair in Frankfurt. Focusing on "Architectural Light" it will show the world´s outstanding projects in lighting and architecture! Look forward to a surprise.
ILLUMINATOR is available worldwide from well-stocked retailers. Distribution in the USA, Central and South America, Canada by Peter Miller Books, Seattle:

In Germany ILLUMINATOR is available from the LightingPress publishing house.

Our distributor for the rest of the world is Export Press, Paris:

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