THE COLUMN: ANDREW LOSOWSKY

In April 2010, European airspace was closed for eight days due to an ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano. Thousands were stranded waiting for flights. Andrew Losowsky was one of them.

 

He saw it as the perfect opportunity to initiate a magazine. He put out a call for contributors, and media around the globe picked it up. His one condition? That every contributor be stranded as well. Once they got in touch, he gave them assignments, and that’s how Stranded was born.

 

With over 50 contributors, this sharp, 88-page glossy—and the intensely creative vision behind it and other magazines he’s been involved in, such as The Little Magazine Coalition and Colophon—are why we asked New York-based Andrew to share his passion for words, images, and the slick pages of a magazine.

“I belong to a particular kind of tribe, made up of people who truly love magazines. If you want to identify one of us, there is no handshake, or password, or badge. Simply hand someone a magazine, and watch. 

 

The first thing we do is feel the weight of the pages. We stroke the cover with the tips of the fingers of one hand, as if greeting a favored pet. Then we’ll flick quickly through the pages, occasionally pausing on an image or a headline, but—and this is crucial—inhaling deeply as we do. To those of us who love magazines, nothing smells so sweet as fresh bread, morning coffee, and ink pressed into paper.  

 

A magazine is a triumph of cultural technology. It combines text, image, typography, design, and the physical form in an infinite number of storytelling combinations.

 

As a format, the magazine is location neutral, class neutral, race neutral, gender neutral. It can be high end or low budget. It can be handmade or it can be mass-produced. What is a magazine? It’s everything you can and can’t imagine. 

 

A magazine is a piece of (at least theoretically) never-ending serial narrative—every issue part of an ongoing conversation, and an attempt to do the impossible: both to replicate the magic of the finest edition, and to create something new every time. It doesn’t matter how remarkable the previous issue of a magazine was; every new issue has to start from zero. To create a magazine is commit to a masochistic, almost Zen-like process of invention.

 

Far from killing them off, digital technology has created new possibilities, new audiences, new ways of collaborating, and of making magazines. This is a golden age of print, because those who make magazines do so out of choice in a marketplace dominated by a more efficient, cheaper online alternative. It takes determination, passion, and desire to make something physical, something that will sit on a table and in a bag and on a shelf longer than a clicked link or shared app. And so the best modern magazine makers, especially in the independent scene where audiences are more niche and so much more focused, are those who think hard about what makes a magazine different, unique, special; who make a magazine because that is the best way for them to share their story.

 

What makes magazines special? So many things, something different for every one of my favorite titles, but overall I always come back to this: magazines exist. They are real. They are physical objects that share our real spaces. They interact with the world around us, and when we pick them up, they have weight; they have smell. Unlike on a phone, where we touch the glass that separates us from the words, we can reach out and touch the story itself. The sensations of a magazine are curated, created, and part of the narrative. 

 

If you are making a magazine, I implore you: make it real. Make it something that celebrates the fact that the information on its pages won’t change, that they are of the moment, that you fixed them in place. That the object will remain even as the ideas and aesthetics inside might change.

 

Think of your magazine as a time capsule. Think of it as an event. Think of it as a souvenir of a fleeting, wonderful moment when you and your collaborators came together in a physical manifestation of a shared ideal. Think of it as something you are putting into the world where before there was nothing, and make it as glorious and real and pure and focused and physically there as you possibly can.

 

And when you’ve finished that next issue and the copies finally arrive, when you pick one up and hand it to someone, watch them carefully. If they feel the weight of it in their hand, if they stroke the cover softly, if they flick through the pages and inhale in the ink—and then they smile—you have, however slightly, just for a moment, changed the shape of their world. These are the moments that make magazine making so special. Savor them.”

INTRODUCING BLURB PREMIUM MAGAZINE

Taking issue: Introducing Blurb’s two magazine formats

 

Every magazine project is unique in some way, but there’s one consideration they all share: setting the optimum customer price point. To give magazine publishers more options in this regard, we’re happy to introduce our two magazine formats: Premium and Economy.

 

Both formats can be produced with our free desktop publishing app, BookWright, or with our plug-in for Adobe InDesign. BookWright features pre-loaded customizable layouts for the ultimate in creative control. Free, downloadable starter templates are available for both BookWright and InDesign.

 

Premium magazine format

 

Printed on HP Indigo presses on 80# paper, our Premium magazine format is ideal for those who want the most professional magazine finish available via print-on-demand. Photographs, drawings, and designs are perfectly rendered on the matte, velvet-finish paper. The UV-coated cover has a slight semi-gloss finish and provides heft and protection.

 

Our Premium magazine format offers a certain artisan polish—the kind of quality you generally get with a quarterly or special-edition magazine. The 8.5x11 in (22x28 cm) trim size can accommodate page counts from 20 to 240. Pricing for our Premium magazine format starts at $5.99 for 20 pages, with additional pages at $0.20 per page.

 

Economy magazine format

 

For those looking to save a little, our Economy magazine format is $4.99 for 20 pages, and $0.15 for each additional page. The printing is great for images and text, and is on par with the monthly magazines you’d find at your local newsstand. Our economy magazine format also comes in the 8.5x11 in (22x28 cm) trim size, and delivers consistent quality via inkjet printing on 60# gloss paper and an uncoated 65# cover.

 

So, which should you choose? It depends on your project and your budget. But with both BookWright and InDesign, you can create magazines in both formats, giving you the best of both worlds—and your customers a choice that fits their budget.

Blurb Magazines

  • 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Perfect bound
  • Two formats
  • Unlimited possibilities

 

Premium magazine

  • High quality Indigo printing
  • 80# UV-coated cover
  • 80# matte pages
  • $5.99 for 20 pages
  • $0.20 for each additional page

 

Economy magazine

  • Inkjet printing
  • 65# matte cover
  • 60# gloss pages
  • $4.99 for 20 pages
  • $0.15 for each additional page

Make yours today

READ MORE

MAGAZINE SPOTLIGHT: 360 MAGAZINE

This week, we’ve set our sights on 360 MAGAZINE, an edgy fashion, lifestyle, and culture magazine produced through Blurb. We got the lowdown on this slick glossy from Vaughn Lowery, 360’s publisher and one of the magazine’s founders.

 

When was the first issue published?

February 2009. The first print issue with The All-American Rejects was released July/August 2009.

 

How many issues have been created to date?

Seventeen, including this month's The Who + Gabrielle Aplin UK-themed issue. 

 

Do you have an editor, designer, photographer, and any regular contributors?

Our creative director is Lester Guidry of Yakin Works. He has been with us almost since conception. We have numerous editors and contributors, however many of them vary by issue. Eiko Watanabe is our Associate Editor—she handles many of our cover stories—and Shin Takei is our newly appointed Auto Editor-at-Large. Our new Fitness Editor-at-Large is Nicholas Holt, from FitLifeNick.com and Extra TV. 

 

What is the magazine's mission? 

To introduce cutting-edge brands, entities and trends to tastemakers within their respective communities. But we are more than just a magazine comprised of journalists, representing a movement of social awareness and change. We are an LGBT-friendly publication. The magazine is contemporary in look and appeal. Quality art content is the constant goal. And no magazine like it is available today, constantly showcasing racial and sexual ambiguous talent and artists.

 

What inspired the creation of the magazine?

After almost two decades in the entertainment and fashion industry as model and talent, I've always had a thirst for a publication that reflected a global society. Many cultures around the world share a common thread—music, fashion, design and art.

 

Which magazines do you look to for inspiration?

V Magazine, Dutch, and L'Uomo Vogue.

 

What three other indie magazines do you love and recommend?  

Indie, Vice, and Surface.

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