Tangible markers

Alison Warner
Roehampton University

This year I taught most of my practice-based magazine module via Zoom. Students worked remotely and across time zones, pivoted editorial ideas and content to meet changing reader expectations. Like the industry, they collaborated, negotiated and upskilled to create four brilliant magazines. 

Print may not be where my students live. Chances are they’ll go on to do amazing things in digital. But their magazines will always serve as a tangible marker of the work they put in to finish their degree. I’m glad they’ll have that hard copy reminder of a journey curated, edited, celebrated and completed by them.

Big Issue

No more cheeky flicks

Matthew Ball
Art Director
Think Publishing

A cheeky flick is a thing of the past.

In shops we’re encouraged not to pick up and then put back. It’s now socially unacceptable to flick though a magazine before we buy, we’ve got to make a purchasing decision before we peek inside that glossy on the shelf.

The cover, the magazine’s prime real estate, has increased in value. It’s now the only way to close a sale.

In a time of flick-less shopping we’ll need to rethink how we tell stories. Swapping tried and tested design tricks for new ways to build a deeper relationships with our readers.

Big Issue

Fix my hair, Mum

Hannah Taylor
Founder & Editor
The Delicate Rébellion

As I rinsed the bleach out of my daughter’s hair, I noticed it had a more mustard hue than the icy blonde the box had promised. In that exact moment I realised I’d seriously misjudged the timing of this lockdown ‘project’. I spent the next hour on the phone losing myself in the memories of my 86-year-old French interviewee; my attention flitting between imagined coffees in the Mediterranean sunshine with ol’ Pablo Picasso and the *very real* frantic panic of my freshly bleached teenager throwing me death stares and notes saying, “HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FIX MY HAIR MUM??!!!”

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I’m tired

Christopher Phin
Head of Podcasts
DC Thomson Media

I’m tired, folks.

I’m tired of having to reinvent every little thing just to get to the very first stage of making anything.

I’m tired of it taking ten times longer to edit a podcast to elide the awkwardness of a half second time delay – and of how unnatural that delay makes every Zoom meeting.

I’m tired of my house!

I’m tired of putting a brave face on it.

Something will emerge. Something, probably, better. Leaner, kinder, smarter. (I will emerge none of these things.)

But mark this time. And acknowledge – own – that it sucks.

We’re making despite, not because.

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The pain and joy of Covid

Nikki Simpson
International Magazine Centre

Feeling useless and desperate to help friends who have been made redundant.

Relishing spending more time with my three-year-old boy.

The heartbreak of seeing magazines and publishing houses closing for good.

The bliss of daily walks in the country and sunshine.

The frustration of watching publishers give away online events for free, just like they used to before paywalls made sense.

The familiar urge to subscribe to every magazine, doubled while people struggle.

Hearing of more deaths, friends now as well as strangers.

Connecting with people I’ve not spoken to for twenty years.

Fatigue, boredom, fear.

Nesting, taking stock, breathing.

Big Issue