With the publication of ESSAY, an eclectic series of short photo essays, professional photographer Dan Milnor shows how rewarding and enlightening it is to work with multiple format options when self-publishing. ESSAY brings stories of the American West, the wilderness of Western Australia and Northern California to life, using the full range of Blurb and MagCloud format options. The poster, the digest, the trade book, and the tabloid work together to create a vivid collection of publications and supporting materials, each one offering its own distinctive take on Dan’s creative work.
We caught up with Dan to talk about his project.
How did you decide which content to use for each format?
I’m actually using the same content for all formats. I may change this slightly at some point, but I love the fact a simple change in size and materials can make each version seem so unique.
Were there any surprises in terms of formats working in ways you didn’t expect?
I was surprised to find that it was easier to design the smaller publication first, then upsize to the larger format. The text was what triggered this. The first issue I did backward, meaning I designed magazine first then downsized. The problem is the text has nowhere to go, so you end up having to add pages, etc. This is way more complicated. So, I’d start with a trade book, where the upside is the text has plenty of space.
How have MagCloud’s formats influenced the development of ESSAY?
One look at the poster and I KNEW I needed a poster for each issue, something to post on the wall in my imaginary office. Like a track record of what I’ve been able to publish. When I’ve got a dozen issues this wall of cover posters will look great. The flyer is the perfect leave behind, mailer, etc. So inexpensive and simple, to the point. The digest format is one of my favorites because it’s the only small landscape product in the entire Blurb and MagCloud empire. 97% of all images made are landscape, so this format is a gem. Tabloid was perhaps the biggest surprise. Never in my life did I have any interest in a wire-o bound publication. That is, until now. It’s huge. Reminds me of the old oversized magazines from yesteryear. Thick paper, almost like looking at a bound set of photographic prints. I plan on experimenting much more with at least three of these formats.
All the MagCloud formats are perfect support mechanisms for the Blurb series. I can see myself using the MagCloud pieces for shows, marketing materials and sneak peek publications I can hand out when I’m teaching.
Find out more about the creative process behind ESSAY.
You can also order your own copy of ESSAY.
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