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17.3.15

Why Hard-copy Magazines Are Awesome

Increasingly I hear people claim they don't "buy magazines" because they "can just read them on my phone online for free" implying that magazines are becoming irrelevant and unnecessary now. I'm not saying it's bad to have that point of view and I too read them online on my phone, I agree it's easiest and free. But I also cannot go a month without buying one issue and personally dread the days where they are no longer sold.

Since I was a little girl running excitedly to the newsagent to pick up my latest issue of Total Girl, magazines have been a constant in my life. Those monthly trips to the isle of glossy pages and tightly bound books fresh off the printer full of inspiration and imagery was the highlight of my month and hated missing an issue. That was when my love for the publishing industry was born and since then my one career goal was to work in the magazine industry. Total Girl lead to Girlfriend and now Russh, Lula, Harper's Bazaar and Elle.
They are a constant source of motivation and monthly reminder's of my dream and my ambition to get there. 

Which is why hearing other's say they are or becoming irrelevant makes my heart drop. No! Don't say that! You'll jinx it! In fact they are far from irrelevant and despite everything becoming digital I continue to believe print will always have it's place regardless.
Magazines provide jobs. To get an issue from the office to the stands requires a bunch of people of multiple specializations doing their part. The design team creates individual page layouts and how the text sits on the page and lends a hand to the front cover and page order. The photo editor works with photographers to curate relevant imagery to go along with articles giving photographer's a job too. Editor's and assistants organize content and the details behind it, products used and clothing featured while receptionist's handle the nitty gritty. Not to mention the people who physically put the book together.
Online, a photo editor isn't needed as much and photo's are often pulled from stock websites limiting how many photo's are published - you don't really see editorial's online as you do in the pages. Only one photo editor is needed if that. The website design makes the design team irrelevant only needing one person to monitor HTML. The only people who aren't affected as much - writers.  
In a world where jobs are dwindling, I endorse this. 

Long form stories aren't published so much online. The writers of magazines live for the opportunity to write long form articles and profiles that extend beyond even 3 pages. In print it's welcomed that a story fills up space while online a story too long can cause issues with bandwidth and people in general get bored encouraging editors to cut the story way down. Even now, the stories you find in print won't be online for that reason and many others making them exclusive to print readers. Online magazines are more like blogs making journalism not needed for content. Photography is the same, editorials aren't published the same way if at all and any photo's are cut down to low-res quality that doesn't do the image justice.

For the aspirational ones, they provide hope, goals and inspiration. Much like Nigel in The Devil Wears Prada - magazines are a beacon of hope for those with career goals. 

They're pretty, they're visual books. Book lovers, lovers of reading find a new issue monthly to be exciting. Yay! New content to bury my eyes into and soak up the wonderful features and gorgeous photography that shine at their finest in print. Plus they last even past their monthly used-by-date and can be re-read whenever the need for inspiration strikes by grabbing it from your shelf rather than going through pages of archives online. For photographer's they're essentially a mini gallery to show off their talents and kept in the homes of thousands.  

They're unique with a vision. Once online each magazine becomes the same, similar design, similar content, basically blog posts with not much at all to tell them apart. Each magazine has their own vision for their brand and even Vogue and Harper's Bazaar are different despite being oh so similar. In print they can drive their message across better to reach their target audience in mind whether it's through cover layout or how each page is set out and their content. Online, not so much.  

In general, they're just awesome. Online has so many benefits and it's great but pairing it with a hard-copy is even better and I don't think they're about to become irrelevant any time soon. 


All photo's by Sheree Grace

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