Why Print?

1. Physicality

There is something incredibly satisfying about the different textures of paper that print magazines use. And don’t get me started on the scent of print – so satisfying! With the emergence of the internet, blogs and online writing, magazines have had to start insisting on their rightful niche in ways that only the physical version can do. Paper textures, finishes, layout and binding have therefore become an integral way for many magazines to express their content on a material level. This is all part of the process of commodification that print is currently undergoing. We increasingly appreciate the medium as artefact, rather than instrumental to delivering information only, resulting in expressive materials and beautiful collectors’ items! For interesting material presentation, check out Perdiz, the binding of which is hand-stitched!

2. Photography

Photography is still best viewed physically, in my opinion. Given that editorial photography in particular has been so important for the development and legitimation of the art form (Vogue, anyone?), magazines are a very authentic way to view photographs. This is also where the photo story and photojournalism originate. Check out PYLOT magazine, which celebrates analogue, unretouched photography, providing a refreshing contrast to the digitally enhanced images that saturate our day-to-day life!

                                                                                              Natalia Vodianova by Harley Weir for POP Magazine

3. Culture and Counter-culture

For me, magazines are intricately connected with DIY culture and identity. I distinctly remember how excited I would get to find a poster of my favourite band in the magazines I looked at as a young teenager. The readers of magazines tend to form a niche community, which can be very important growing up. Zines are especially important in this regard: these handmade, DIY-style booklets are often handed out at targeted locations and events, in order to form and strengthen underground communities. They were like pre-internet sub-reddits!

                                                                                                                        Zines on Zines on Zines!

4. Versatility

One of the best things about print is that it can be deconstructed and re-used in so many ways. It’s so much fun cutting out and rearranging text and images. Newspapers and magazines are the perfect resource for collages, scrapbooks and mood boards. What are you waiting for? Get cutting, ladies!

5. Longevity and Immediacy

Somehow, owning something physically makes it more immediate and valuable. It also means that you partake in its preservation. A blog post or online article can be deleted, changed and switch locations, whereas owning something in print allows for a certain kind of direct and privileged access to it. Lending someone a book or magazine will always be that bit more special than sending them a link. Rather than showing them a fragment, or one specific thing, a magazine gives that person insight into a whole vibe – an aesthetic, a particular way of looking upon and understanding the world. Print opens itself up to us more because it provides a multi-faceted glimpse of a worldview, but also because it demands our attention. We are more likely to dedicate time to what we are reading, compared to ephemeral nature of reading on the internet which puts us into a mindset where we struggle to hold our attention too long.

 

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

 

 

Editor's Note

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