MagDesigner has a new home!

July 4, 2010

New home for

If you’re reading this, then you shouldn’t be. You see, this here blog is now old hat. It has been magically turned into

It’s bigger, better and a lot more blue. There are all the usual news stories and eMag round ups, but now the with the edition of platform reviews, eMag reviews, glossary and features with lots more content coming over the months.

It really is your one stop shop for all things to do with digital magazines.

This WordPress blog will more than likely be ignored from now on (you’ve been good to me though…)

So, get yer ass over there, bookmark it, subscribe, get rss feeds and remember to tell your friends about!

Click HERE!


eMag Roundup! The web’s best digital magazines this month…

March 17, 2010

Everyone’s favorite contract publisher Redwood have recently unveiled a couple of brilliant contract eMags. First up is a new issue of Zoom Zoom the eMag made on behalf of Mazda. Published using eDition it showcases brilliantly how digital magazines can use interactivity to strengthen a brand and create a unique reader experience:

Zoom Zoom

Next up is the totally awesome Esprit eMag. Launched simultaneously in eight different countries and several different languages (a world first). Esprit is a new take on the eMag format, ditching the traditional facing pages aspect like a print mag and going for something much more contemporary. It rocks. One of the best examples of how this medium can be used to great benefit in a bid to advertise a brand and involve readers. Excellent photography, good editorial content and ideas and nice design. Also launched on the eDition platform, a testament to the versatility of their platform and developers.

Esprit eMag
Esprit website

Dennis Publishing have also launched a new issue of Sky Magazine Live a contract title for the overpriced television provider. Published on the Ceros platform it’s a nice magazine with tones of animation and interactivity. The video content is especially good, one of Dennis’ strong point is it’s in house video team that churn out some really great videos across multiple brands. The design is a bit too complicated, some pages are just overflowing, and it can be difficult to read at times but generally it’s a good eMag.

Sky Magazine Live

Claret and Blue I like. It’s made by a small team, it’s not too over the top and serves it’s purpose very well. Again published on eDition, it’s a bit garish and basic but is a great example of how eMags can serve sports magazines…

Claret and Blue

Ceros Media take on the iPad

March 16, 2010

If ever there was a band wagon worth jumping upon it must be the iPad.
Ceros Media, already leader in the digital magazine publishing market have announced there iPad concept is coming soon. The Application is very simple, basically just a PDF reader with video capability. How this will fair against the likes of Pixel Mags remains to be seen, but with Ceros’ impressive market share of digital mags it’ well worth keeping a beady little eye on.

Dennis Publishing “Close” iMotor

February 22, 2010

In a rather sad move Dennis Publishing today announced the closure of its eMag – iMotor. Well, maybe closure isn’t the right word, as iMotor will continue to publish “sponsored editions, that coincide with major launches or significant motoring events and shows”. It seems they are staying away from using the word “close” since it was such a popular brand and still has some legs, or wheels left on it.

Launched 24 issues ago shortly after the launch of iGizmo, iMotor made a big impact on both the motoring market and the eMag market. Becoming instantly loved by a shed load of readers iMotor was chock full of awesome interactivity; with games, quizzes excellent video reviews and a whole host of great digital content that no other consumer title could even think about competing against. iMotor was an excellent example of how an eMag should be made and it’s such a shame that it has closed before the masses took notice of it.

It’s decline has been put down to a “downturn in the motoring industry as a whole but we have also found it hard to convince manufacturers to make full use of the creative environment that a digital magazine offers” says Pete Wootton, MD of Dennis Interactive. This is a problem that all consumer eMag publishers face but it’s not all doom and gloom, the two other Dennis eMags Monkey and iGizmo have proven hugely successful as have the multitude of contract titles that have come from within the Dennis walls.

So it’s the end of an era for one title, but the birth of a new one as more and more people take to digital publishing and iPad magazines.

Check out the current, and last issue of iMOTOR

Adobe CS5, Ceros, eDition and MagDesigner upgrades

February 8, 2010

In a world that has a distinct absence of flying cars, hover-boards and replicators it’s reassuring to know somethings are being improved. In the last week I have seen and heard about a few changes coming soon that will make things a little more exciting for us eMag makers.

Ceros Media have given me a sneak peak at their modified “self serve” system which is looking really good. Can’t give any specific details away (they’d string me up by the balls) but it’s a massive improvement and makes for a really user friendly publishing tool that will make 2 of my jobs a load easier and more efficient.

eDition have told me what they have in store for the upcoming Publishing Expo and to say I’m excited about it would be an understatement of epic proportions. Very fucking cool indeed.

Adobe have been working very hard on Creative Suite 5 with InDesign and Flash looking sexier than Jessica Alba dipped in a chocolate rice crispy mix (that may just be a personal thing.) The interactive elements offered from InDesign have been expanded massively and work in conjunction with Flash a lot better than before. It also helps put more power into the hands of magazine designers rather than Flash programmers, something very important for the continued success of eMags.

And finally MagDesigner itself is undergoing a top secret, if I told you I’d have to kill you type re-design. Hopefully to be launched in the spring it will be expanded massively with a lot more articles, video, features and reviews of all the big eMag publishers.

So the next few months are going to see some nice upgrades. And maybe, just maybe someone will make a break through in flying car technology.

The day that changes publishing?

January 27, 2010

So today is the day many off us media types and computer geeks have been speculating about for some time now. Apple should unveil, in some capacity, a new tablet computer. The Keynote takes place at 6pm good-old-English time and can be followed on practically any news or gadget site out there.

To say this product launch is important would be a massive understatement. The Apple Tablet has the potential to “rescue” the publishing industry and give it purpose and focus, much like Apple have done with the music industry through iTunes. It could be a major step forward in interactive magazine enjoyment and distribution.

It could also have a negative effect on current eMag publishers like Ceros or eDition. Since it is unlikely that the Apple Tablet will support Flash content where will these publishers stand and how will they adapt? Are mobile Apps the only way forward? Will HTML 5 be the answer? Can Adobe Air become the new platform of choice. Or will someone finally give us multiple publishing options in one handy package?

It’s also worth noting that even if Apple do announce a Tablet today it won’t be on sale for another month at least, analysts (posh word for “estimators”) suggest a March 1st release. Because of this there will be little word on pricing structures or 3G network providers.

As soon as Apple announce something tonight, you’ll be able to read about it right here. And of course everywhere else on the internet. And the papers. And TV of course, and maybe the radio, possibly also through usage of smoke signals and morse code. Basically it’s going to be hard to not hear about it.

All Condé Nast magazines to be tablet ready

January 27, 2010

By the end of Twenty Ten posh publisher Condé Nast will roll out electronic versions of their 18 titles. Aimed at the tablet market and no doubt taking advantage of their sneak Apple Tablet specs, the magazines will be produced alongside their print counter parts. It is believed ecommerce will feature heavily in these titles in a bid for Condé Nast to increase revenue through selling shit related to their mags, so Gourmet could sell kitchen utensils, GQ could sell high class hookers and Wired could sell, er, wires all within an online magazine.

Ecommerce in magazines is nothing new, eDition have had that capability for ages now and the Ceros published Sears magazine proved a great success last year. This is however the first time any publisher has announced a company wide move to digital and is a milestone in the embracement of digital publishing. I have no doubt that they will be the first of many publishers to make this announcement and over the next few weeks more will do the same. Nice one Condé Nast!