Back in 2014, Four & Sons launched their first print issue off the back of a popular online site covering dogs and culture. Shrugging off categorisation as a ‘pet’ magazine, they joined the list of growing independent titles that spawned surprising creativity from generic themes — think The Plant Journal (plants) and The Gourmand (food). Accessing the unique affinity humans have for canines, this launch issue impressed with contributions from Mike Mills and Dave Eggers, in a blend of photography, fiction, art and interviews.
Instead of features on grooming or health, Four & Sons is more interested in the puppers that sit alongside interesting people, providing them with companionship and creative inspiration as they go about their day. Take photographer Klaus Dyba’s series in their latest issue — starring hairless breeds, the portraits aimed to flip the villainous stereotype they receive. Longer pieces tune into conversations in the wider culture, charting dog icons from Family Guy’s Brian Griffin to the Queen’s corgis.
Though they won Best Use of Photography at The Stack Awards last year, illustrations in the magazine deserve a mention. From oil paintings to pencil drawings, these images seem to bridge the communicative gap between the artist and their loyal pet, sketching out the dogs’ emotions to match the complex personalities we gauge (and imagine) from them.