Reinventing the Magazine Experience: Recap and Resources

Pre-artifact, artifact, post-artifact—the lines and players between these three stages of the publishing process are mingled and blurred in the world we now design in.

In response, and charting the way, design practices are mingling and blurring, too. User experience designers need some of what print designers have, while print designers need some of what technical designers have, and designers from all disciplines can learn from time-based storytelling media such as gaming and film. This is an exciting time to be a designer.

It's also a time to think about new forms and new functions. In our fourth “Breakthroughs” webinar, on “Reinventing the Magazine for the Digital Era,” ePublishing designer Lindsay Powell mentioned that part of the fun (and challenge) of translating National Geographic from print to digital form is taking advantage of tablet functions where it makes editorial sense. Interactive elements may be “eye candy” but they also need to enhance the stories being reported, help readers in understanding complex information and ignite a sense of play, curiosity and discovery. By using video where once only a static photograph was possible; creating the ability to share virtually, as a means of enriching the post-artifact experience; and exploiting the iterative, immediate nature of digital, allowing freedom to experiment and explore new storytelling models, the magazine has indeed been reinvented.

As Lindsay noted—and Colin Fleming, digital publishing expert at Adobe, affirmed—this is also a time to lose your fears and dive right in. We saw via Colin’s tutorial and Lindsay’s case studies that translating print to tablet isn’t as scary as it might seem. The tools are there, and publication designers already possess the most important elements: the ability to tell compelling stories using great design. And with today’s announcement about Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite single edition, the tools are even more accessible to individual designers and small studios.

If you missed this webinar, AIGA members can watch the archive here (you must be logged in). And here are additional resources to help you make the transition from print to tablet.

Books and White Papers



Apps and Tools

Join us next time...

We’ll be continuing the conversation on October 26 in the next “Breakthroughs” webinar (for AIGA members only), when Angela Shen-Hsieh of and Jared Waxman of Adobe will discuss how designers are using the power of data to make a greater impact for their clients.

About the Author: Callie Neylan is an Assistant Professor of design at UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) in Baltimore, Maryland. She is interested in interaction design, the urban space, and designing for the disabled. She writes about design and technology for AIGA and and tweets via @neylano.