Let’s face it, design magazines are not immune to the collapse of the print industry. Some magazines have already shut down and by this time next year who knows what will be left. Just like most of the old media they were behind the times and haven’t really set up the infrastructure to thrive and deliver content how a lot of people take in their information. What’s interesting to me is that I’ve come recently I’ve come across a number of smart ideas to replace the old idea of what a design magazine used to be. While I can’t rate any of the content because I’m basically just flipping through the publications on screen like a person used to do in their favourite magazine shop, there’s a couple things to note.
When a friend told me about the idea of Design Business Review I was actually quite interested in the concept of it. They’ve tried to create a relevant magazine that combines design as business, something that has been lacking in the craft friendly design magazine world. They’ve excerpted a number of issues to give an understanding of what the entire article is about. If you’re interested you can buy a
digital print version for $13 bucks. It’s up to you if you want to print it out or read it on screen. On the editorial side it seems like they’ve played it safe with the content of the first issue—can’t say for sure as I haven’t read it. Hopefully they’ll push out of the name dropping in upcoming issues that I normally expect from regular design magazines. But the main thing to take away is that Print on Demand is here and being put to good use.
From the blog of the same name It’s Nice That has upped the ante with what looks like a quality design publication that could kick the butt of the traditional magazine. They’ve taken their passion for showing stuff online and made a quality print version. Again—all I can say is that it “looks like” because I don’t have the actually thing in hand. But what I can see is via Flickr: It’s Nice That Issue #1. If a publication is taking photos like they did, you know their proud and happy to share what they’ve done. The only catch (like all print) is that a person has to order a copy and wait patiently for it to come in the mail. For someone like me who wants things asap once I’ve decided I want something this isn’t an ideal situation. But it’s an interesting contrast to Print on Demand.
FILE MAGAZINE looks to be another high quality magazine for the same reasons I mentioned above for It’s Nice That. They’ve also got loving photos of their print version on Flickr: FILE ISSUE 1. But the added community feature of letting people share their own stuff that could be in future magazines is really smart at Flickr Group Pool: FILE – Photography and Graphic Design search. While It’s Nice that can rely on their own content as they’re talking about it online all the time, FILE can keep the door open to finding stuff that they may not have otherwise seen if they stayed within the constraints of what they know. There’s no guarantee that anyone that adds their work to the group will be in an upcoming issue—but it’s a really smart way to find gems.