The Idler: The Utopia Issue

Now on its 45th issue, The Idler is an annual hardback periodical that ‘campaigns against the work ethic and promotes liberty, autonomy and responsibility.’

The Idler no. 45 Utopia Issue cover
The Idler no. 45 Utopia Issue cover

Founded in 1993 by editor Tom Hodgkinson and Gavin Pretor-Pinney, this manual for indolence features beautiful illustrations, art directed by Alice Smith and typeset by Christian Brett.

Alex Robbins

It takes its name from a series of essays by Dr Johnson, published in 1758-9 in the Gentleman’s Magazine.

Alice Smith

Illustrators gracing the pages of this lovely turquoise cloth-bound tome include Smith, with her wonderful illustration of Thomas More to accompany an extract from his 1516 work, Utopia; Luke Fenech, with a great illustration for Mark Vernon’s Plato’s Noble Vision essay and Jake Blanchard, whose lovely Legend of Damanhur drawing is as intricate and pretty as it is eerie.

Luke Fenech

The Utopia Issue features a brilliant interview with David Hockney, and a ‘conversation about idling and work’ with Class War editor Ian Bone, and a contribution by ‘long term unemployed loafer’ Ray Roughler-Jones.

Mike Redmond

Other contributors include the ever-fascinating Bill Drummond and king of bumbling-with-intent, Louis Theroux; as well as Penny Rimbaud, Alain De Botton, Oliver James, Jay Griffiths and Paul Kingsnorth.

Mireille Fauchon

The Idler no. 45, The Utopia Issue, launches on 12 July priced around £22, published by Idle Ltd

Holly Wales

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