Print’s not dead, says Steve Watson of subscription service Stack, and welcomes the Idler to the blossoming world of indie print titles
If you regularly spend any amount of time around these digital parts, it won’t have escaped your notice that The Idler is back in print as an independent magazine. Of course the entire idle empire began way back in 1993 as a self-published magazine, and it has since added books, courses, a café and all sorts of other loafing fun. But what is it about the magazine format that brought The Idler back around to publishing its own print quarterly?
In many ways, the print magazine is the most idle of media. Anyone who has tried maintaining a blog will know the frantic Sisyphean slog that comes from publishing online, while at the other end of the scale, book publishing provides for longer lead times, but also comes with major commitments for publisher, writer and reader.
By comparison, a print magazine is an altogether more manageable prospect. Readers love the opportunity to flop down with a magazine and flip through its pages, while for publishers a quarterly print deadline provides a definite end point, a practical date to work towards before beginning again with the clean slate of a fresh issue. And ever more publishers are discovering the medium for themselves.
In its earliest incarnation The Idler was something of an oddity, but today it takes its place in a flourishing independent magazine market, slotting alongside a host of other titles that understand the value of slowing down and taking a more considered look at the world. The following titles are all worth tracking down for a taste of alternative idleness.
The magazine that’s proud to be ‘last to breaking news’, Delayed Gratification takes advantage of the slowness of print to cast its eye back over the last quarter’s news. Revisiting stories after the dust has settled and the media circus has moved on, it produces fantastically insightful pieces that run the gamut from big, 10,000-word articles to quick, pithy infographics.
An entire magazine dedicated to happiness, Perdiz takes the time to understand what makes people truly happy. Based in Barcelona and published in Spanish and English, it steers away from cliché and operates around the edges of society, fascinated by the sort of people whose individuality and strength of character lead them away from the mainstream.
As its name would suggest, this magazine is dedicated to showing the excitement and innovation that still surrounds print in all its forms. Created by the inky evangelists at People of Print, every issue combines a range of print techniques to create a beautiful and distinctive object, packed full of interviews and features showcasing great work.
An print magazine curated by jazz pop star Jamie Cullum, The Eighty-Eight began life as a piece of tour merchandise but evolved to become a title that stands on its own feet. A lovely piece of whimsical publishing, it mixes original fiction with poetry, illustration and interviews, all released on a thoroughly irregular publishing schedule that fits around its makers.
A Dutch magazine published in English, Works That Work is fascinated by ‘unexpected creativity’ – the sort of innovations and inventions that are overlooked by the conventional design press. For the current issue, editor Peter Bil’ak and his team have cast their eye back at forgotten ideas that once showed promise, but which have been consigned to history.
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