Recently the smell from a newly delivered pile of magazines at a railway station took me back to the heady combination of utter thrill and apprehension in equal measure of receiving the new issues I had art directed. What flooded back to me was the beautiful cold glossy feel of the issues freshly delivered to my desk from the loading bay in Vogue House.
It’s often said that nothing can replace the tactile quality of printed material - I’m a firm believer in that. Screens glow, but the feel and smell of a magazine or book is something else in the same way vinyls sound better than downloads.
It’s obviously true that the publishing industry continues to go through many changes from the heady days of large circulations and advertising revenue, however a visit to a favourite newsagents recently with some of my students from the Condé Nast College I noticed that the independent publishing industry appeared optimistically healthy.
For the luxury magazine market things are changing fast with challenges brought about by the rise of the second-by-second digital news feeds and social media, but there is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water and allow their original independent style and points-of-view go down the plug-hole in the chase for those all important circulation figures. In fact, these challenges could be the beginning of a brave new and exciting attitude towards print.
It is just possible that fewer issues a year could give rise to exciting new creative opportunities, and thereby reignite the arrival of a new issue as an event to be hunted down before anyone else and to be looked forward to with a must-have excitement. Two of my personal favourite publications which have achieved this are Love and Luncheon magazines. Both of which enjoy an independent spirit and creative integrity.