What is REALmag


REALmag. was founded in 2012 by Jan van Wessel (psychologist and designer) and Ab Bol (graphic designer). The concept originally comes from Jan van Wessel who, fascinated by the theme of identity, made a magazine on the subject as a final project for the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. In 2012, Jan together with Ab Bol picked up the magazine and the first issue of Shame appeared. The idea is to explore human identity (related to specific behaviour and emotions) through the eyes of creative professionals and (social) scientists. Since 2016 Ab Bol is the head of the editorial office.


In our individualistic society that celebrates the rampant I-culture, we wish to reflect upon the concept of identity. Who and what determines who we are? What are we feeling, thinking and doing? In each edition we deal with a specific theme concerning those questions. We approach artists and scientists to think along with us. In times of rapid and shallow thinking REALmag. wants to be a platform where there is time and space for reflection, casual meetings and personal growth. We want to inspire our readers and followers to marvel and dialogue. In this we wish to understand, endure and refine the world around us a little more.


REALmag. aims at anyone interested in art, philosophy, psychology, science and the theme of identity. Publications – depending on the topic and the author – are in Dutch or in English. On the website English and Dutch translations can be found.

The magazine

REALmag. appears at least once a year as a printed version. With its fixed format (24 x 31 cm) and its appropriate design for the theme. REALmag. is undated and therefore timeless.
Sometimes we bring out half issues in a smaller size, one connected for example to a special occasion or exhibition. In 2015 it was the Madness-issue (# 2.5) which was in line with the theme of the Book Week.


At least once a year there is a release party in the home port of Rotterdam, where we present the new edition. It’s a chance for our readers to meet the people behind the contributions in the magazine and the editors involved. Many a time in an unexpected place we give a party with performances by writers, scientists, musicians and a pop-up exhibition with the participating artists.

Editorial office

De redactie bestaat momenteel uit:
Ab Bol (editor in chief, designer)
Gert-Jan van den Bemd (biologist, artist, writer)
Bob Verbruggen (artist)
Jan van Wessel (psychologist, designer)
Selma Lagewaardt (philosopher, writer/journalist)
Chrétienne van der Vuijst (medical biologist, science journalist)
Karin Storm (website and internet specialist)