The Magazine Model
We’re enormous fans of printed magazines over here at Fourth Estate Creative. Most of us started out our careers in the world of magazine publishing, and as we’ve moved over the years into new territories we’ve taken much of what we love about print magazines and applied it to new media.
For us a magazine is not just a dead tree, it’s a conceptual framework. With the downturn in print came a dozen new ways to reach an audience, many of which are distributed, instant and highly targeted – enabling a reach that publishers simply couldn’t have dreamed of 20 years ago. That is to be celebrated. But as an approach to content, the magazine model transcends concerns around the future of print, or what the next big platform will be. This same approach informs our content creation across print, web and video.
On any platform, a good magazine has some unique qualities, which, as an aide memoir, we have arranged into a list of items all beginning with ‘V’ (if you’re not a fan of such contrivances, feel free to mentally replace them with more appropriate words as you go).
Virtuosity – beautiful layouts, designs and crafted visuals that make content easy and pleasurable to consume
Validity – compelling, properly researched, long-form content about important, timeless topics
Veracity – the skill and reliability of established and responsible editors and producers
Variety – one broad theme, but many different topics, chosen on merit
Vibrancy – thought-provoking pieces from contributors with informed and meaningful opinions
Value – a clear purpose, beyond profitability, and priorities shared with a community of readers