Tag Archives: magazines

New Yorker’s Bare Bones iPad App a Success

1 Aug

A story in today’s New York Times explains how the New Yorker’s simple iPad App, built for reading and not much else, is leading in subscriptions amongst Conde Nast publications.

I’ve always wondered why publishers want to build ridiculous Apps where there’s too much navigation and flash, and the turn of a page makes an annoying “swishing sound.” It’s good news that the bare-bones aesthetics of the Kindle work just as well for publishers on the iPad.

I do wonder how much these numbers are skewed by the combined demographics of the New Yorker’s audience and the average iPad owner. The publication has a pretty serious audience —  very different from a typical glossy ad-packed magazine. Does anyone read the New Yorker just for the cartoons? The iPad owners are also likely older, wealthier and more educated than most audiences.

The article does address the issue of demographics:

One apparent reason for The New Yorker’s success with the iPad is that the magazine has the right demographics. iPad users tend to inhabit households with annual income of more than $100,000, much like readers of The New Yorker. Research from comScore shows that all iPad users read news on the device more than they seek out entertainment like videos and games.

The article also discusses how the subscription revenue is great, but figuring out behavioral statistics and how to advertise to this audience is still an unanswered question.

Robin Steinberg, executive vice president of investment and activation for MediaVest, a media buyer, said that The New Yorker’s 20,000 iPad subscribers and the 75,000 more who had activated through their print accounts were a big first step. But she said use patterns needed further study.

“The question we now face is of those 75,000, how many are engaging with the magazine and the app or one exclusively?” she asked. “Understanding these behaviors will provide a stronger opportunity for advertisers to appropriately connect and create the right experiences by channel without misapplying dollars.”

Nevertheless this is an interesting trend to watch for in the space of digital publishing models. Long live content!

Recent Blog Posts

28 Sep

I blog for Psprint.com about graphic design, printing and the freelance lifestyle. Here are some of my recent blog posts from blog.psprint.com. Please click-through to read the posts in their entirety.

Interview: Print and Design Before Computers

I recently came across a quote from renowned graphic designer Milton Glaser: ”The computer is to graphic design what the microwave is to food.”

This quote got me thinking. It made me wonder what graphic design was really like in the days before computers.

Do computers just speed everything up, or do they dramatically change the design process? Did Glaser intend a negative or positive connotation when he compared computers to microwaves…?

6 Inspiring Sculptures for Graphic Designers

Sculpture is a lot like graphic design in its use of scale, negative space, form and line to make a big visual impression.

The use of texture, shadow and the special setting or placement of a sculpture can all create dazzling effects. Take some design inspiration from these impressive works of art…

Top 4 Logo Design Pitfalls

Logo design is a mysterious process. Sometimes that perfect design can evade you for days and days and then magically appear. Or you may find yourself with no new ideas, carving out a logo from the clients’ notes on what they like or want in the mark.

No matter where you fall in the logo design process, here are some common pitfalls to avoid. Use these as guidelines or a check list to make sure you are on the right track…

4 Cool Design Elements from Magazines

Reading magazines is such a fun pastime. If a layout is interesting, it can make a story pop. Some of my favorite magazines in terms of design and layout (not counting design magazines because that would be unfair) are Wired, New York Magazine, GOOD and Real Simple. I also enjoy the consistency in design of magazines such as Vanity Fair , Vogue and The New Yorker.

There are many ways in which magazine design can influence other graphic design work on brochures, annual reports, websites, e-mails and newsletters. Let’s take a look at some of the intricate elements of magazine design and see how they can work elsewhere…

Social Media Magazine App- Flipboard Launches

23 Jul

FlipBoard is very buzzworthy at the moment- it’s a really well-funded startup with an application for the iPad that aggregates all of your social media streams into an easy-on-the-eyes magazine layout.

All you have to do is ‘flip’ through the pages. Content has a byline, “shared by” and the handle of whomever posted that link, story, video or piece of user-generated content online.

This is a pretty elegant solution for those social media users flipping between accounts, blogs, rss feeds and bookmarking sites.  I currently use Hootsuite to manage my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, but find the interface difficult to use. For example, I have a half a dozen different Twitter lists lined up next to one another and need to scroll all the way across the screen to view them all.

I just wonder what kind of algorithm or user-preferences FlipBoard employs to know which content is preferred? I am trying to visualize a magazine made out of my contacts’ updates and I am balking at the idea of random musings, links to funny videos and other people’s’ vacation pictures comparing to a real magazine like Vanity Fair. We’ll see how this application does!

You can read more about FlipBoard and see screen shots at mashable.com.
Read about potential legal/copyright issues already threatening FlipBoard at BoingBoing.net.

image via flipboard.com

The Rise of Stock Photography

30 Mar

There’s an article in the NY Times today, “For Photographers, the Image of A Shrinking Path,” that explains the rise of stock photography in the magazine and advertising industries and how traditional photographers are being edged out.

When I was working on the AR100 Annual Report Competition and Publication at The Black Book, in New York, I remember hearing the photographers and illustrators complain about the huge stock companies like Getty and iStockPhoto infringing on their business.

But the creatives we worked with were shooting HUGE accounts, like the annual report for Coca-Cola. I would think they’d still have their niche corporate photography jobs carved out and that the companies would still have the budget to hire.

It’s been a while since I have been close to that industry, but I wonder how everyone’s doing business these days. Is there an industry anymore? Or now with the web and digital photography, is it everyman for himself ?

Some choice quotes from the NY Times article:

THEN: “When we began, stock photography or licensed images, preshot images being licensed, was perceived as the armpit of the photo industry,” said Jonathan Klein, the chief executive of Getty Images who helped found the agency in 1995.

NOW: “The quality of licensed imagery is virtually indistinguishable now from the quality of images they might commission,” Mr. Klein said. Yet “the price point that the client, or customer, is charged is a fraction of the price point which they would pay for a professional image.”

Check out my related articles about photography and stock imagery:

Do-It-Yourself Photography

Choose Stock Images Like A Pro

6 Tips for Stock Image Success