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Port iPad apps

Port magazine is an independently published men’s magazine launched in 2011. Featuring a highly stylised design that owes much to sixties and seventies editorial design, it is very consciously different to the existing men’s market. It’s signature elements are a solid grid structure, moncochrome typography, several custom-designed typefaces and plenty of white space. Long columns of text unapologetically fill entire pages.

Transferring that aesthetic to the iPad was an ideal test of our beliefs about the iPad. Most magazine apps to date have been over-designed, suffocating their content with too many design elements and special effects. The Port app would be simpler and smarter. For the first iteration of the app (published free alongside the launch issue of the print magazine) we used Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite, adapting the printed aesthetic to the smaller page size of the iPad and sparingly used touch control and interactive elements to enhance the magazine content.

But there remained too many superfluous navigation devices, so for the second app (shown above), accompanying issue three of the magazine, we teamed up with Tim Moore, publisher of indie app Letter to Jane. We designed and coded the entire app from scratch, enabling a far simpler, stripped back feel that let's the content be the main element in each section. The strategic direction of the app changed too; this was a paid app that provided additional content to that in the printed magazine.

The result is an app that strongly resembles the printed magazine but takes advantage of the iPad. Creative Review wrote of the project. ‘Tim Moore and magCulture’s Jeremy Leslie working with Port's Matt Willey, have created a beautifully crafted app that chimes absolutely with the values of the print magazine’.

We later developed the design for issue four of the magazine.

Download your copy of issue 1 app here

Download your copy of issue 3 app here

Download your copy of issue 4 app here


Keep an eye on the magCulture blog for news of Printout, the independent magazine event curated by Jeremy with Steve from Stack.

Listen to Jeremy’s latest appearance on Monocle24’s The Stack radio show.

Listen to magCulture’s hour of Megazines, recorded live at Pick Me Up 2014 and featuring Steve Watson, Michael Bojkowski, Robert Newman, Kati Krause, Jean Snow and Andrew Losowsky.

Jeremy is co-hosting QVED2015 in Munich, a three-day conference about editorial design, 26–28 February 2015.

Jeremy Leslie’s recent book The Modern Magazine is available from our online shop


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