The biggest disruption?

Is this really the ‘biggest disruption in publishing history’?

Really? The first magazine I worked on was set in hot metal.

Since then, jobs that surrounded the print industry; compositors, photo headline-setting, b/w photographic labs, cow gum, typesetting, repro-houses, the four-pint lunch hour… (I could go on) have largely disappeared. The editorial designer has had to take up most of these professions.

Now we have ‘digital’ or ‘multi-platform delivery systems’. There’s no difference. Quality words and good pictures still need to be displayed in a relatively pleasing manner.

Just recognise that fact and pay us properly. It’s all we ask.

Shem Law | Art Director, Radio Times

Grub Street Journal


Magazine brands used to define who you were. They created tribes. They made the world smaller.

The web has made that relevancy largely redundant – the trust now lies in the peer group rather than the publisher.

The real problem magazine brands face now is one of irrelevance, which is due – purely – to a lack of innovation and empathy with user behaviour. The solution to this seems to be to embrace technology, but all this does is change the delivery method.

In reality, magazine brands need to redefine their value proposition, understand their users and find a definitive reason to exist.

Rob Boynes | Creative Consultant and Founder, F&W


Grub Street Journal

28 Reasons sad kitten GIFs can’t replace magazines…

… number 28 will make you hug yourself.

Harold Hayes, Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote, Clay Felker, Vanity Fair, Lester Bangs, Steven Wells, Stanley Booth, Julie Burchill, Gay Talese, George Lois, David Carson, WC Heinz, Sounds, Annie Leibovitz, Terry O’Neill, NME, Pornalikes, Paul Morley, Neon, Nova, National Geographic, Norman Mailer, Melody Maker, Marvel, DC and 2000 AD and “Oh my God – we hit a little girl”.

Magazines have given us thousands of heroes and villains and ‘drop my bacon sandwich’ moments. There’s no reason that’s going to stop now.

We’re not in the paper business, we’re in the story business.

Scott Rowley | Editorial Director, Classic Rock

Grub Street Journal

It’s not about paper

A magazine has never been about the paper it was printed on.

Publishers may have organised their businesses around selling the stuff, but real magazine brands are more like exclusive clubs that anyone can join for the price of a bus ticket. To feel part of a family, to have the ideals of a title reflected onto the reader just by opening a page, that’s what’s really valuable.

I’m now happy to read just about everything on my phone, but when I want the world to see who I really am, I let them know I’m a New Yorker reader.

Andy Cowles | Editorial Development Director, Coverthink Media Ltd

Grub Street Journal

Go social or go home

What excites me most about magazine publishing is where digital can be taken by publishers. What annoys me most about magazine publishing is where publishers are being taken by digital.

The problem is the industry’s identikit tools and services, which operate on bluster, bravado and high bills. Print magazine replicas work, but never well. Interactive extravaganzas promise much, but they’re basically all mouth and no trousers.

Worst of all, nobody’s tackled making a digital magazine truly social. And that, in my rarely-humble opinion, is the biggest failing of all, because without social connections a digital magazine is only barely alive.

Keith Martin | Senior Lecturer, London College of Communication

Want another 99 magazine professionals telling their stories for just £5?
Every penny of the cover price goes to MagAid to put magazines into schools and help develop a love of reading in under privileged school children. Buy it here now.


Grub Street Journal