It is sometimes hard to believe that the world managed to operate before the internet. At Universal McCann, our rallying cry of “next thing now” is rooted in a belief that innovation and transformation are mandatories across all media. That is why, in conjunction with the Design Lab at Central St Martin’s School of Art, we have recently dived into the world of magazine innovation, .
The accessibility of online information has seen a re-evaluation of the purpose of printed magazines, but from this upheaval new and innovative directions emerge. Some publications attempt to integrate online material with printed matter, but others have rebelled against digital media and returned to old fashioned methods of communication.
The London scene has seen a rise in the popularity and production of hand-rendered fanzines, aimed at and created by disillusioned youth. Elitism has been used by other magazines by making them ultra luxurious objects of desire aimed at a very specific niche market. High resolution fashion photography and artwork is being pointedly used, as this level of quality is still not available online. The magazine industry has had a drastic revamp as a result of our ever-evolving technology, but printed publications have retained their desirability and are able to offer real, tangible experiences and creativity that online information simply cannot, thus continuing to have enormous potential for the future.
Magazines reflect what’s going on in society better than any other medium. They continue to grow alongside internet use (magazine readership has grown by 11% since 1990). They reflect our communities of interest, they inspire us to want to learn more, and we go on-line to do exactly that. People expect the internet to be free, but they pay for magazines. This protects the core inherent value of magazines and their power to edit what we will find interesting. And advertising is an intrinsic and integral part of their enjoyment. Press has the unique ability to create a “sense of discovery”.
Magazines are the true bastion of creativity/ challenging and immersive experiences, that can mutate across multiple channels. By integrating web use into the publications, magazines create a complementary relationship between the online world and print.
So, no more talk of declining circulations and a dying medium. Let’s talk about the importance of the editor in a sea of amateurism, the strength of relationship not number of readers, let’s talk about discovery.
Abba Newbery is managing partner – planning
at Universal McCann London