Commissioned by Ballantines Whisky, W is the first ever ‘Instazine’ – a small digital magazine that can only be read by scrolling through Instagram on your smartphone. The studio behind it, London-based Work Club, have written a manifesto of sorts on Medium, which explains how to navigate through the stories.
As creative director of the project Simon Cheadle told us: ‘The project works by manipulating Instagram’s features. We’ve built scrolling articles, horizontal stories, and little surprises hidden within individual posts. There are two ways of reading the stories – you can skim an article, or delve deeper into more detail by tapping on individual squares’.
Taking cue from the fast-paced nature of their medium, Ballantines decided to call the project W, an abbreviation of ‘whisky’. ‘Everything about the magazine has be designed with “instagrammers” in mind and the speed in which they interact with the platform’, Simon told us.
The biggest challenge, understandably, was designing the cover: ‘How do you make an Instagram post feel like a magazine cover? By introducing a spine and masthead (above), though, we were able to create small, digital covers.’
The zine uses the grid presentation of Instagram images to build up a larger image (above); selecting one of the images takes you deeper into the content (below) and clicking on the yellow dot takes you to caption stories.
As news outlets begin to publish more of their content directly on platforms like Facebook and Snapchat, the W Instazine poses the question whether other kinds of businesses or even individual people will start hijacking social media to publish their own digital zines.