The historic ebb and flow of the creative pursuit is far from binary, nor dictated by dualities and hierarchies. It may be argued that the underground needs the mainstream so that there’s at best something to rebel against. In turn, the mainstream feeds off the underground for new ideas and fresh angles. While nothing is original and the best we may do is recycle, remix, mashup, deconstruct, parody and so on, there’re still some interesting hybrids out there yet to be spliced together. The Lake delivers such chimeras, inciting a state of post-postmodern hubris in a colorful performance of fashion, photography design and art. Juxtaposition, pastiche, and appropriation work in overdrive on the covers especially, and the characteristic format of The Lake originally took its inspiration from; the classic 12-inch format of vinyl records. This approach to format was likely inspired by the 2012 LP album cover theme for issue 27 of iJusi magazine, which included faux cover designs by Anton Kannemayer, Givan Lötz, Shane de Lange, and the editor of The Lake himself, Stefan Naude, among others.
Published from 2014 to 2019, Indie and Alternative music, skate, and surf culture formed the cornerstone of the magazine, bolstered by the general lowbrow art and design scene in Cape Town. The influence of album cover design is further revealed by the music-oriented, mostly sub-cultural, narrative that runs through every issue of The Lake, in support of South African design, art, music, and fashion. Street culture and youth culture are key in relation to the strong musical undertones of the publication, as it appealed mostly to ages 18 to 35. Featured creatives and influential personalities also contributed a list of their favorite albums as an epithet to the critical writings and reviews inside the magazine.