Sunday, 5 July 2009

We Love Magazines

I am still reeling over the demise of Vibe magazine. Although we are in the midst of a recession and magazine galores have been falling to the wayside, I just assumed that Vibe's corporate investment would ride them through. Obviously not, as news broke last week that the publication would be folding due to lack of revenue. I used to buy Vibe between 1995 and 1999 because to me it was a magazine that simply celebrated and embraced Black urban culture. Yes we had magazines like Echoes, Blues and Soul and Essence but no one did it like Vibe. The format of it alone stood out; it was bigger, bolder and simply better than the rest with it's sexy covers, catchy headlines and well written features. I stopped buying the magazine because I felt that it had lost its way and was not delivering what it started out to. Vibe became a saturated pop magazine with very badly thought out features and scandalous covers. For all that, one thing that you cannot take away from the publication is the passion of the editorial staff and the hours they put in to get the magazine out each month.

Passion is a vital ingredient that is needed in the magazine land. It is what gets you though those early mornings when you need to go across town to do an interview and those late evenings when you need to proof read layouts. We Love Magazines is Colophon2007's love letter to all the magazines they love in the form of a book. It takes a good look at the magazine industry by profiling some of the best magazines in the world. Whether they are mainstreams produced by massive publishing houses or tiny niche titles made by small indies, they are all here. Topics that are covered are the changes in design, advertising, distribution models and creating a great editorial concept.

We Love Magazines was published in conjunction with Colophon2007 which is a two day extravaganza that celebrates the creativity and energy of magazines. The event takes place every year in Luxembourg and features talks, seminars, portfolio shows and conferences about the medium. The last event was in March this year and was attended by 2,000 magazine peeps. Colophon2010 will take place next year and looks to be bigger and better and I plan to be there. There is also another book dedicated to magazines called We Make Magazines: Inside the Independents which features over 100 independent magazines from around the world. There are interviews with founders of some of the titles, quirky Q&As and wonderful imagery of the publications. Both books are collectors items for magazine geeks or anyone working in the industry and I love them dearly. You can buy both books at amazon.

Check out the video for the Colophon2009 event below.

You can watch the full movie here.

4 cool comments:

pixgremlin said...

It's unfortunate about Vibe and all the other mags. The reasoning nowadays is that being online is more affordable. The online mentality can only work for so long in my opinion. There's a distinct lack of feeling when you removing publishing from the equation.

Ondo Lady said...

It will be interesting to see what happens over the next year or so. I think that the well pitched and quality mags will survive but the ones that have weaker identities will fall by the wayside.

Millytilly said...

I agree - online is too much of a hypothetical concept - there's nothing more substantial than an actual magazine you can hold - and like Vibe - collect for years...And Yes, Ondo, the weaker mags will struggle imo...

Andrew Losowsky said...

Actually the next Colophon is in 2011 - it's a biennial event. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Glad you like the books,

Co-curator, Colophon
Editor, We Love Magazines / We Make Magazines