A number of FREE digital publications have already impressed me this year - and it’s only February! Scores of digital-only magazines (and apps) have launched their first issues of 2013 and it’s QUALITY as far as the eye can see. More than pretty faces – many are interactive and e-commerce enabled proving a winning combination. With web audiences becoming more discerning, readers not only want carefully edited, quality content - they want it beautifully presented and I think these magazines have style in spades.
My top picks so far (in alphabetical order)
Adore Home Magazine (Aust) | Publishing Platform: ISSUU
Launched in 2010, Adore Home is "Australia's first online only home an lifestyle magazine". At around 186 pages it feels like a "normal" magazine in length and carries a selection of quality advertisers. The clean layout and design-focused editorial contains links to both the adore store and other web locations including etsy.com. The editorial is less copy-dense than other titles with plenty of images and shorter text rather than long-form features - so it's a delight for the person seeking a real burst of visual inspiration . image via: adoremagazine.com
Artisan Magazine (Aust) | Publishing Platform: Oomph
Now on its third issue, lovingly created by three friends and colleagues, this charming stand alone magazine app showcases the delightful surprises that often await readers in a skillfully executed digital edition. Packed with artful video, images, audio and sometimes interactive backgrounds you never know what will pop up in this made for iPad app. The point of difference is storytelling rather than e-commerce and focuses on "the local, personal and unique". Artisan does not currently carry advertising and the trio are open to collaborating with fellow artisans. Download via the Appstore. image via: artisan-magazine.com
Est Magazine (Aust) | Quarterly | Publishing Platform: ISSUU
Curating "the best in Australian and International design", est magazine (now in its 8th issue) promises readers inspiration with an "Australian twist". Clean, minimalist design delivers a cohesive editorial flow with market edits at several points throughout. I like this tried and true format as it retains interest throughout the book giving the reader visual breaks at regular intervals. A generous helping of beautifully-shot imagery makes reading est a pleasure. Est is only available to subscribers so you'll need to sign up to read it but it's well worth the 30 seconds it takes to do so. image via: estmagazine.com
HTF Hard to Find (Aust) | Monthly
I've mentioned this magazine before and I had to include it in this post. This is the 2nd issue and at 115 pages it's packed with products, hints, tips and how-to's. With a demanding monthly publishing schedule, HTF may get the jump on less frequent titles which can help them better leverage their ever-changing range of gorgeous products. This month, as well as the design and food features, there's an extensive travel feature giving HTF magazine a well-balanced editorial mix and point of difference to its competitors whose focus is largely only on design. image via: hardtofind.com
The Edit (UK) | Weekly
Launched this week by online fashion behemoth Net-a-porter.com this online magazine is set to impress. Among it's team of creators are former media executives, fashion editors, journalists and stylists. With a free subscriber base already over 1.5 million this is a serious foray into publishing as too will be their (as yet unnamed) 300-page print magazine launching later in 2013. Luxury advertisers are already lining up to advertise in the print magazine which will be available via newsstand and subscription. image via: net-a-porter.com
The Next Web (US) | Monthly | Via the Appstore/Newsstand
Published the last Friday of the month, readers are invited to "see what the future of magazines looks like". This made for iPad app is handsome and brimming with insight through highly targeted tech business articles. Each issue is dedicated to a specific tech topic e.g. startups, emerging markets, mobile. TNW recently tweeted their current issue (The Startup Issue) received 41K downloads - more than all other issues combined! With its more masculine feel, TNW magazine features an elegant design with minimal imagery which ensures the high calibre content remains centre stage. image via: thenextweb.com
Fine Print Blog
Musings about magazines.
I'm a magazine sales and marketing consultant from Sydney, Australia.