Despite reports to the contrary, print is not dead. In fact, for some new niche publications, it’s the only way to go. These magazines put a premium on aesthetic experience and need the printed page to exploit their fullest effects. Theirs is an audience that cherishes the experience of flipping through the vibrant, glossy pages and is willing to pay for it. Here are a few examples of newly launched print titles and the concepts behind them:
Conde Nast’s GQ Style, named one of ‘“Mr. Magazine’s” 30 Hottest Launches of 2016‘ is based on the concept that men want in-depth style content. “With GQ Style, we’re really focused on this idea of the good life, and aiming directly at readers who want fashion above all else,” says GQ Style Editor-in-Chief Will Welch, according to a Fashionista article. Why the focus on print? “For the same reason that vinyl sales are up,” says Howard Mittman, GQ publisher and chief revenue officer, according to a The Business of Fashion article. “There’s a time to power down, put the blinking lights in your pocket. This is the ultimate coffee table book.”
Kinfolk is a 144-page quarterly magazine focusing on food, culture, hospitality, and community. It uses short articles, photo essays, recipes, and tips to communicate a community feeling. The About page describes it as “Delving deeply into home, work, style and culture, Kinfolk promotes quality of life and connects a global community of creative professionals from London to Tokyo.” It uses warm, rich pictures of simple tasks like gardening, making and preserving food, and setting tables to convey feelings of gratitude and connectedness to community. Much of Kinfolk’s international success is because of the way its creators put forth these ideals: They’ve organized hundreds of community gatherings all over the world centered on seasonal or culinary themes.
Galerie is an opulent, slightly oversized 9-by-12-inch magazine beautifully printed on sturdy stock that examines the artistic living experience. It’s geared toward artists, art dealers, architects, designers, world travelers — anyone who has a compelling thirst for all things related to art, design, beauty, and how they enrich our lives. Its creators seek to inform and inspire with in-depth pieces on art, design, architecture, people, and places all accompanied by rich, inviting photography.
If the medium is the message, then glossy, bold, richly photographed pages are the ideal medium for conveying luxury lifestyles, simple living, passionate pastimes, and altruistic values. Thriving print magazines provide more than information on pages; they provide immersive experiences and stay true to their missions and values — and, importantly, audiences are willing to pay for them.
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