One of My Favorite Covers from the Past Year:
When I have observedNational Geographiccovers over the years, they always had that iconic, unblemished yellow border with a photo of some geographic landscape or person of interest. The creator of this cover literally thought outside of the box. If the cliff had been left inside of its yellow box, the photo would just be another landscape photo of Yosemite. However, by breaking the cliff out of the traditional yellow box, the majestic and somewhat terrifying nature of the cliffs of Yosemite can not be ignored.
One of My Favorite Magazine Covers from the Past Year:
The New Yorker is well known for its artistic cartoons that make a statement. Jobs had a massive influence on technology and pop culture, and the implication that even heaven needs an iPad shows the kind of bravado that Jobs would have embraced. Sometimes, a cover is great simply because the statement it makes encompasses a cultural trend in its entirety.
One of My Favorite Magazine Covers from the Past Year:
Often the best covers are the simplest. What I like about this covers is that they took an iconic photo and let it do the talking. All the text color was designed to match the photo and the headline was kept simple. The only intrustion of other articles is out of the way on the top bar of the cover. By showing Elizabeth Taylor in all her glory, the cover honors her.
My relationship with digital media is a bit peculiar. For the better part of the past two years, I have sold tablets, e-readers, and other digital media devices for Best Buy. I eagerly opened up the new display for the latest tablet so that I could be the first one to play with it. Technology is awesome, and I love playing with it. Digital music, video, and reading is a splendid way of making content more available to everyone, especially older content that isn’t necessarily cost effective for a company to reissue in hard copy form because of a limited audience. That audience can still get what it wants.
However, I don’t exactly practice what I preach. For someone who loves technology, the fact that I don’t own an ereader, tablet, or working iPod of any sort is a bit perplexing. Furthermore, I have never downloaded a song. My iTunes is filled with songs from CDs I already owned or recently brought. I have never paid for an e-book. While I do stream Netflix and Hulu, I have never downloaded a personal copy of a movie. My lack of conversion into the digital world of the technology that I love has its roots in the same issue so many of my customers had when deciding whether or not to convert over: There is no physical object to hold. There is no object to physically own.
America is a consumer culture. American living rooms are filled with objects that commercials and ads told us we must possess to make our lives all the easier. My generation was a part of the dawn of the digital age. The original iPod changed the landscape of music. Cellphones became smart. Videos no longer needed a VHS or DVD to be viewed. It has been an exciting time in which we happily learned to love digital. However, my friends and I still have those hard copies. For back-up purposes I will claim, but to tell the truth, I like how it all looks on my bookshelf. I like the fact that I physically possess the DVDs, books, and CDs.
That feeling of possession, learning to trust some mysterious computer bank, is a difficult one to kick. However, it is a feeling that needs to be kicked in the caboose. Adapting with the times is a part of life, and the digital world is teeming with possibilities. While I may never own a working iPod that wasn’t a hand me down from my wife, I will finally go digital, at least partially, with my reading in the near future. I have to save a few trees in my life after all. The DVD collection has already come to a near halt. I only buy my absolute favorite TV series or movies. Everything else can be streamed, and once I stream it, I won’t buy it.
Quite simply, the digital world offers so much more. Magazines can now add video or other expanded content that furthers my understanding of the text. Enhanced e-books are doing the same thing. Not to mention, the ability to look up a word in the dictionary on a digital device is a delight. I can take back some of my apartment space. My wife should like that arrangement. Digital content is enhancing our knowledge when we want, which is never a bad thing. It allows us to connect to more of the world. The spread of knowledge, in whatever form, is still important. Digital content and devices make spreading knowledge all the easier. Besides, my favorite DVDs, books, and CDs are still safe and sound. I have something to display, so I will just be more selective. Old habits die hard after all.
Even though I worked for Best Buy for the better part of two years and was even a tablet specialist as the tablet and e-reader boom began, I have never had a strong desire to own either device. Tablets were just a big toy that did many of the tasks my phone did, only on a bigger screen. My phone was working just fine. My English major sensibilities would not allow me to replace my books and magazines with an e-reader or tablet of any sort. I was perfectly comfortable in my technological literary state.
However, researching for my classes at the NYU Summer Publishing Institute shed light on the possibilities of going digital. As a part of my research, I borrowed a family member’s iPad and downloaded a varied array of digital magazines. WIRED, GQ, and a few others were still just as good, if not a little cooler, in a digital format. Embedded videos expanded on article content or at least added an amusing sidebar. The ability to close and expand article sidebars was convenient and added to the aesthetic of the design. Navigating up and down an article was a nice avoidance of my cats tearing up the magazine because I left it out. Overall, the magazines were good reads with an enjoyable new twist.
Nevertheless, I still wanted my physical magazine and book copy, so I still didn’t have a need for a tablet. After further research, I found I could have my cake and eat it too. According to the Association of Magazine Media’s Magazine Media Factbook, eighty-seven percent of consumers want both the digital and hard copy of a magazine. Furthermore, seventy-five percent of consumers believe that a digital magazine compliments its print counterpart. Many magazines companies accommodate their consumers by throwing in access to digital content with their print subscriptions. With this information, I officially have a desire to have an iPad. The additional content offered with the digital add-on to print subscriptions allows me to get further information on the topics I love.
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Whether it is a good read or show, a good story usually does the trick.
I am an aspiring publisher, soon to be former teacher, from the Midwest. I will soon be off to New York for the first time in my life, so it should be an interesting adventure as I delve into the world of magazine and book publishing to decide where I want to go.