Owen Pritchard, It’s Nice That
The Modern Magazine 2017 takes place in just over a month. Today we meet speaker Owen Pritchard, editor of the It’s Nice That website and magazine Printed Pages, which between them reach over a million readers a month.
What’s your favourite cover of your magazine?
The puppet stars of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared shot by Neil Bedford for our spring-summer 2016 issue and the three covers (above) still intrigue me now. Every time I look at them they seem to be pulling a different expression – we treated them as real life models rather than objects. The issue was my first as editor and it completely sold out, so I have fond memories when I look at those soft, furry faces.
What has been your magazine highlight of 2017?
This year, with the world in such a troubling way, I’ve been inspired by the boldness of so many magazine covers that using their prominence to be provocative. Things have got so absurd that satire rarely even gets close to reality, but so often now I am seeing magazine covers taking world leaders to task and it feels powerful. Usually, they are illustration led and are lambasting Trump - The New York Times Magazine cover by Andrew Rae , the New Yorker cover by Bob Staake are just a couple that have really stood out (above).
What was the one mistake that taught you the most about making magazines?
There’s not one mistake, but a ton of them, and each one has helped in some perverse way. Mistakes are never, usually, as catastrophic as they seem in the moment. I’ve been around typos on the cover, lorum ipsum in pull quotes and wicked subs who turned perfect stand firsts into car crashes - I’d like to think I have seen the worst of it but I am constantly surprised by the new and inventive ways that can be found, by myself as much as others, to screw things up.
It’s not really the mistake that teaches you most, but how you react. Usually, with magazines, no-one dies if you get it wrong - so just make things as right as you can as soon as possible.
Which other speaker are you most looking forward to hearing at ModMag?
The panel discussion has a group of people that will make for a brilliant and, hopefully spiky discussion. I’m looking forward to seeing a group of people I find inspiring and interesting share their thoughts on what the future holds.
What will you be talking about at ModMag?
I’ll be taking everyone behind the scenes at It’s Nice That and revealing the conversations and processes that see a team of six writers, one social media manager, three creatives, a marketing exec and three project managers work together to publish 2600 articles a year. Then, how we go about turning that huge archive of stories and projects into two 240 page magazines that champion the best work from the year.
Also, I’ll try to explain why it’s important to produce a magazine that reaches around 6000 people a year when the website reaches around 450,000 people a month and if you add in our social platforms there is an audience of 1.3 million. There’ll be a graph and everything.
The Modern Magazine 2017
Thursday 2 November (9am to 5.30pm)
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL (map)