Keeping Print Alive

Now I regularly read Creative Review, both the CR blog and the magazine, but with the increasing digital age of iPads and (perhaps) “BlackPads” you wonder how long the age old printed magazine can hold out.

Then you see the latest Creative Review magazine and realise that this is the kind of stuff keeping print alive.

The aptly named “Bumper Summer Fun Issue”, reminiscent of those 6week school holidays you used to get, filled with annuals, comics of Desperate Dan and Dennis, and bumper puzzle books.  With some colourful safety scissors and a pot of PVA glue I could be kept busy for many an afternoon, and this experience was no different (although my tools have since graduated to a scalpel and spray mount).

The desire to provide a tangible product is something I really respect magazines for, by offering a product that you simply can’t get online (no matter how good UIs are becoming!).  Yes, by all means embrace the digital era but don’t forget where you started.

Print is something tangible, it needs to become something online media cannot replicate, and, most importantly, something that means I continue to buy the magazine in addition to reading the site.  Other companies have begun to realise this too, Wired recently offered a limited edition fold out cover, new stock covers and some lovely print techniques within the magazine itself.

I’m all for online media, it makes information more accessible, and certainly for some elements it can offer a rich and immersive environment for reading and experiencing the data.  Still, there’s nothing quite like holding and perusing the real thing, opening the cover and folding it back to make that first crease, and the slight scent of “new” that comes when you flick through the pages (oh, just me?).  This particular mag kept me occupied for an entire afternoon of true “bumper fun”, cutting, making and sticking my way through it!

In addition to the usual excellent content, interviews and grids you are immediately offered hands on activities in this issue, from the DIY 3d cover illustrated by Stefan G. Bucher (of The Daily Monster fame)

to finding all the cheeky monkeys in Johanna Basford‘s intricately inky illustration.

The first dot to dot took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out what I was drawing, but I redeemed myself with the spot the difference and was back on track with the next couple of dot to dots.

London 2012 Olympics logo

British Rail and The Designers Republic logos

And to the Office I-Spy, of which I narrowly missed out on a silver medal!  Damn you illusive Japanese stationery.

Then plenty of intricately cut and fiddly pieces later and I had my own Dress Up Designer.  Now I don’t own a Freitag bag (as much as I’d like to) but everything else is a pretty good representation of me, even down to the colour of the bicycle.  Now I guess I’m either a very typical designer, or CR tailor made this article just for me… hmmm.

Expect to see much more of this little guy over the next few months, he’ll probably be turning up in all kinds of predicaments on Twitter.

All the way to the back page you are kept busy, and I completed the mutilation of the magazine with Peskimo’s monster mask!

The final article that I’ve not mentioned from this issue was the DIY pinhole camera.  I’ll update on that when I’ve experimented and actually managed to take some pictures with it.

A very enthusiastic two thumbs up to you Creative Review!


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