As Amelia’s Magazine draws to a close with the final issue 10 ready to buy and focus moving to the website, Amelia has given an end-of-amelias-interview to Andrew Losowsky on Magtastic Blogplosion about her rollercoaster 5 year stint.
Andrew is a journalist who has written for publications across the globe including The Guardian, The Hindu Times, Le Cool and Grafik. We consider him an all-round publishing guru so we’ve asked him a few questions ourselves…
How did Magtastic Blogsplosion come about? Was it a response to something or lack of something?
There were a few blogs already out there talking about design in magazines, but I didn’t know of any that discussed magazines from a more editorial/industry standpoint. I’d already been writing about (and in) magazines for nearly ten years, and blogging about various topics for six years, so it seemed like an obvious move. That, and I had things I wanted to say, and Jeremy was probably getting a little tired of my tirades in the comments on MagCulture…
You have written in many countries, is there one country that stands out for it’s magazine culture?
One of the things I love most about magazines is that you never know where the next inspiring publication will come from. It’s just as likely to be India as it is Finland. There are however different conditions that can help nurture a thriving magazine scene, including good distribution, shops that will sell a variety of small-run magazines – and allow you to browse them (most magazines in Spain, for instance, are sold in kiosks where browsing is discouraged) , a bustling complementary underground scene (music, art, etc), sympathetic advertisers, local-based printers. No country is perfect, but the Netherlands in particular seems to disproportionate amount of independent publishing for its size. Most interesting right now seem to be some of the publications coming out of central and Eastern Europe, make of them founded on the tidal wave of creative energy post-Communism.
Which is more important to you: outstanding design or brilliant text?
Outstandingly brilliant content.
What do you think the future is for printing? Will people always want a magazine to have and to hold or are more people wanting quick-fire information from the internet?
Some people like digital watches, others want analogue. And still others won’t have a watch at all, and will use their mobile phone to tell the time.
Every medium has its strengths, and the key to being successful is to play to those strengths. If your message is better broadcast online, go there. If it should be a TV show, make one. If you’re better off in print, then do that, and celebrate the physical object while you do.
Right now, anybody aged 20-plus still has fond associations of print learned from childhood, so there’s an additional fetishistic attachment to print, similar to that of vinyl records, and that will fade a little over time. But print won’t disappear, it will instead become more highly specialised, which is a good thing both for print and the internet as well. I’m not attached to magazines alone (I’ve done a lot of work in both books and web too), I just want to help make magazines better, and show off some of the things print can do. Which is a lot.
What do you like most about Amelia’s Magazine?
It’s personality. On every page, from the cover to the index, you always knew you were reading Amelia’s. Far too few magazines you can say that about.
What is your earliest memory of coming across a magazine, and has that initial response, whatever it might be, stayed with you throughout your career?
I remember being about 5 years old and getting excited about my older sister’s copies of Smash Hits. The lyrics to all the songs! And posters of Duran Duran and Debbie Gibson!
I also remember very clearly a British comic called Oink!. I remember it because my parents banned me from reading it (it was pretty purile and irreverent; I loved it), so every month, I somehow had to get myself a copy without them finding out. The feeling of excitement when I bought one under their noses, hiding it in my coat, and then running up to my bedroom to read through those forbidden pages… I’ve spent my entire career trying to make products that people feel half as excited about picking up.
To read the interview with Amelia click here
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