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Print vs Digital Media Written by Michael Trovato

Not Since the struggle for superiority between Batman and Superman has a battle for dominance been so hotly contested. With the introduction of new platforms for media to be presented, print media has had to push the boundaries of it’s products to try and stay ahead of the game. Being able to deliver high quality content to it’s readers, while fighting off the superhero strength of Digital media, which has come in leaps and bounds in the past few years. Judging by the sales growth of Vogue of 3,898 copies (a rise of 3.78% of it’s total circulation), it has no plans on stopping any time soon.

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“Print media is finding its footing right now after the initial wobbly it chucked after the iPad was first dropped by Apple.” Says Collect magazine’s Josh Fanning. “There is an excellent overview in the current edition of Port magazine, in which they take a long look and enjoy an extended conversation with the editors of Vanity Fair, New York magazine, GQ, Wired magazine and The New York Times.” From this in depth discussion it is found that they are all resolute and upbeat about print media. The do concede that advertising revenue figures are down significantly since the introduction of tablet devices and smart phones. However still eager to see the results from the positive impact which is causing a driving force for innovation in the industry. With the notion that once someone or something is pushed into the proverbial corner and forced to step up, the results

can generally be quite surprising and this can only be seen as a good thing for the publishing and publication design industry. Luckily for print media it’s been full of positive results, which can be seen with some of the boutique magazines that have surfaced over the last few years. Monster Children, Frankie, Collect magazine, Smith Journal and King Brown magazine are just some of the fledgling publications that have a clear passion for creating an informative and relevant magazine. Be it the size or orientation of the publication, the feel of the paper or use of texture, publishers and designers alike are pushing the boundaries and creating some of their best work.

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This commitment to innovation is evident to anyone who is an avid reader of the international publication Monster Children. Just one read through this magazine shows the reader how passionate they are about great design. The rare occurrence where a designer can not only attempt work like that and pull it off with fantastic results really raises the bar for their peers.

Frankiepress, who create the likes of Frankie and Smith journal, have accomplished really clean, simplistic and beautifully designed publications since their inception. This type of design seems to be all the rage as of late, with publishers looking to embrace white and negative space.

“Creating a beautiful print product is always a thrill. The move into digital publishing is also very exciting�

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Digital Edition as a % of the total circulation.

How it works 21.8%

Total Film

4%

Wired

4%

BBC History Mag

3.8%

16.8% 14.1%

10.4%

GQ

Vogue Cosmopolitan 3.2%

Vanity Fair BBC Top Gear

Glamour

Men’s Health

Marie Claire

8.6%

7.2%

5.6%

The Digital Age of publishing is well and truly here and the results are amazing. With digital magazines popping up all over the internet and handheld devices everywhere you look, there seems to be no end for digital publishing in the near future. During a recent interview with Campbell Milligan, Monster Children’s’ Publisher/ Editor, had this to say when asked what he sees as the most exciting thing happening in the industry at the moment. “I’d say how people are best adapting to the digital age, how they embrace it or fight against it.”

The Econimist UK

Good Housekeeping

9.4%

In the midst of all of the amazing print work being produced (and unless you are living under a rock) it is impossible to look past the possibilities that mediums like the iPad have created for publishers and editors alike.

BBC Good Food

1.1%

1.1%

0.8%

The potential that publishers have with the introduction of digital issues are endless. What could be better than allowing the reader to interact with the magazine in a positive way. Allowing the user to click links inside a magazine to an online shop or expanding an issue by integrating video to add extra interactivity. Also allowing designers to adapt their design to both portrait and landscape orientation, Giving the user a new experience and a fresh take on publications they love. The challenge here however is creating an interface that is easy to navigate, one that will not lose readers within the page. Designers and publishers alike are very excited by the digital age, “Creating a beautiful print product is always a thrill. The move into digital publishing is also very exciting” says Nancy Ianni from Slattery Media group in Melbourne. >>>


This platform of communication has also made way for developers to create programs such as mag+ to assist anyone and everyone who is interested in starting up their own publication, to do so. “I own a magazine specialty store in Adelaide and we are constantly being contacted by self-publishers from small A5 photocopied zines up to superb A4 productions on beautiful paper stocks.” says Josh Fanning of Collect mag. “It’s exciting to be a part of a global culture that cares about communication and information”. Nancy Ianni backs this up even further “it presents challenges but opens up a whole portal of integrated media opportunities and tie ins with print and other technologies working side by side.” In order to not get left behind, up and coming designers are going to have to look for inspiration from not only magazines they love to read (or just nerd

out over a layout) but also in to other facets of design, be it Photography or Interior design. Young designers will also have to keep an open mind when it comes to designing their new and (probably) amazing publication, not to mention a clear understanding of the rules of design and which ones are great bend (Less is More), and those that are not (Papyrus, Comic Sans). The best option is trial and error, you may make mistakes, which is ok as long as you learn from them. One can only assume that you’re becoming or became a designer because you love design and have fun creating masterpieces. Having fun with a design is the best way to learn new tricks or faux pas to lock in a black box in a high security building (refer rules not to break). >>>

Print Vs Digital - CATC Article - Michael Trovato  
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