MagDesigner has a new home!

July 4, 2010

New home for MagDesigner.net

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 www.MagDesigner.net

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!

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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


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


Wired Magazine to launch on iPad by summer

February 16, 2010

Everyones favorite posh publishers Condé Nast, have announced that their kick-ass Wired magazine will indeed grace the touching screens of Jobs’ latest creation by this summer.

Announced at the awesome 2010 TED conference by Wired’s Chris Anderson and Adobe’s Jeremy Clark the news was no surprise really, in fact it was an inevitability. Since I was not fortunate enough (or rich enough) to be at the TED conference I didn’t see the demo myself, although it seems the mag is fairly similar to that of New York Times.

Readers can scroll horizontally through the magazine, when they see an article they like they scroll vertically. The iPad also changes from landscape to portrait depending on which way the unit is held.

It also contain some interactivity. The demo showed Adobe’s Clark touching a 360 degree animation of a new Camaro, showing how advertisers could utalise the new technology. Except it’s not new. 360’s have been around for years on web sites and I’ve been doing them for 2 years inside interactive magazines. It’s nothing new or groundbreaking, it’s simply taken Condé Nast to push it one step further by making it compatible with iPad Applications.

By his own admission Anderson acknowledges the iPad magazine is only “part of the answer”. He’s right of course, but the fact that they have already started down this road and have announced a rough launch date means that “part of the answer” puts them ahead of the pack. No news on if this roll out on the UK edition or if it’s just the US version.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how existing eMag publishers tackle the iPad. What will Dennis Publishing do? They currently publish the three most successful consumer eMags around, how will they embrace the iPad? Will they even try? Will Redwood Publishing conquer the iPad market for contract titles. WIll IPC Media come out of nowhere or will Future tackle their decreasing profits with electoic editions? Who knows, and who for the next five minutes, who cares? I’ve got a coffee waiting…


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.


Steve Jobs still planning a magazine store?

February 5, 2010

Silicon Alley Insider has an interesting little piece up about Mr Jobs visiting the new York Times newsroom and dropping some heavy hints about an online magazine store being geared up.

Apparently a book store was at the top of his priorities, presumably because the Amazon Kindle and similar products are already out and about and selling like (expensive and crap) hot cakes.

Why Apple couldn’t release an iBook store and an iMagazine store at the same time is beyond me, hopefully it’s because they are working with publishers like Next Issue Media in order to produce and industry wide standard, like .ePubs are for books.

Guess we’ll find out sometime down the road…


iBook Store and reader

January 28, 2010

Finally something has arrived to piss all over the Kindle and the eReader. The iPad is almost perfect for electronic book publishing. The high resolution screen, long battery life (10 hours) and one month standby time make it a perfect coffee table layabout (if not a little expensive).

The most interesting thing though is the iBook store. It’s so obvious and simple it will undoubtedly work like a charm and within the next 6 months easily become the premier distribution facility for eBooks. Apple are also wise enough to use the eBook standard, ePub, then take it one step further by making it colour (shock horror) and even add video content.

The iBook Store basically does everything magazine publishers wanted an imaginary iMagazine Store to do. But this should not be overlooked by magazine publishers. It’s not just for use by book publishers, it is simply another means in which to channel your content.