The team from The Stack – Monocle 24’s weekly analysis of the print media industry – recently received an email from a kind listener. We always love receiving letters from our listeners, and as flattering as this email was, much more important was the writer’s request for advice on how to start a publication. One key question stood out.
“Is print still a viable form of media for the small-time publisher?”
I’ll answer that a little later. But for those who don’t know it (tut-tut), week by week, The Stack has been meeting the people that edit, write, shoot, own and print this vital part of global culture.
We have met editors who control content that circulates to hundreds of thousands of readers with their established titles as part of print empires. We have also met young writers artists, designers and typographers who have struggled and succeeded in creating their beautiful first editions. Big or small, in some guise or other we invariably broach this rather tough question of print viability. It’s a topic we’ll cover if you’re a small independent journal or the largest commercial title with massive overheads competing with a glut of digital offerings. to contend with. The answer we receive again, and again? It’s a big, bold, “YES”, whether that’s in serif or sans fonts, hand-printed or embossed.
For a small-time publisher, print can seem a dangerous and expensive investment but as so many of The Stack’s guests and featured publishers can testify, we are seeing a renaissance in print. From Paris to Portland, larger titles are now seeing more than ever that they need print to showcase their brand.
The Stack team hasn’t yet come across a Magazine Publishing for Dummies, the industry is most probably a little too complicated for that. Large or small, magazine printing requires a lot of time, commitment and, yes, as clichéd as it sounds; love.
And of course, tuning in to M24 on Saturdays at 10.00 London time is also a good start.
David Plaisant is a producer and researcher for Monocle 24.