The Modern Magazine 2014 – part 3
Report by Sarah Snaith
Peter Houston started the afternoon session by talking about the publishing project The Magazine Diaries that benefits MagAid, a charitable offshoot of the National Literacy Trust. He asked, “What does it feel like to be a magazine professional caught in the middle of the biggest disruption in publishing history?” The project collates a series of 100 word entries, “designed to challenge writers to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space”, from key figures in the publishing industry, many of who were in the audience.
David Moretti, the creative director of Wired Italia, gave a visually rich presentation and told the stories behind the spreads. He shared founding designer John Plunkett’s vision for the magazine, Wired is, “Extraordinary information presented in extraordinary ways”.
In relation to their sci-fi issue, David said: “Sometimes the content is so strong, we have to change the design of the whole magazine”. He showed slides of Wired’s infoporn, typography, videogame gatefolds and elaborate covers before showing the shift to digital publishing: “We are print designers but everything happened in a blink. Our infographics became a space that we could play in and make things move. The digital magazine allowed us to add more to our content.”
Danny Miller, from creative agency Hüman After All or “the guy who used to run Little White Lies”, talked about curiosity, action, innovation, personality and data, and began by showing slides from the ten-year history of LWL.
Since departing from LWL, Danny has worked on publications like Think Quarterly (above) and Global Agenda. For Think Quarterly, the brief was to get past the PA barrier – Google figured that print and personalisation was the way to go – and they embedded the recipient’s name into each cover. “It’s all about understanding their passion points, pain points and getting through to people. It was about creativity and ideas” said Danny, it was a kind of “print porn”.
His newest project is Weapons of Reason, a magazine about the biggest challenges facing the world. As many indie magazine makers in London have, Danny began by talking to Steve Watson at Stack. Weapons of Reason takes its name from a Marcus Aurelius quote “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reasons which today arm you against the present” and took D&AD’s Laura Jordan-Bambach’s quote as their brief “We’re in an amazing position as communicators, taking what is intangible to the world and making it understandable to everyone”. It has been designed to be childlike and to feel accessible and issue one of eight will focus on the Arctic and will have no political stance, no opinion and will couple “curiosity and discover with sobriety and authority.”