Two magazine covers caught our attention this week, both of which try to introduce elements of interactivity to print
First Wallpaper*. In its Guest Editors issue (October), the magazine has collaborated with ad agency Dentsu to bring images from David Lynch and stage designer Robert WIlson ‘to life’.
Dentsu used the Ombro Cinema – or ‘Stripe Cinema’ – technique on images on a selection of pages inside the magazine and on the cover. They are broken down into a mixture of six or 12 frames which appear as strips on the page. An acetate sheet of black stripes (included in the issue) is placed over the page and dragged across it to ‘animate’ the image. It’s a technique that Dentsu previously used for Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun whereby every piece of advertising was animated in this way for its relaunch issue in March 2008.
It’s a novel and fun idea, if slightly unwieldy and, at times, frustrating. We all spent ages here at CR messing around with it so it certainly scores on the engagement front. The acetate has to be placed quite carefully in order for the effect to work and we were somewhat disappointed by the Wilson and Lynch images.
Far more impressive were the patterns that Wallpaper* (and, presumably, Dentsu) created themselves. Here, for example, is the intro page for Lynch. The application of the acetate creates spots of colour.
Better still was the way in which dragging the acetate across the cover causes the Wallpaper* asterisk to revolve – neat.
This video from magCulture explains more:
And then we have lifestyle title Huck. Its ‘counterculture’ issue offers readers the chance to ‘subvert’ the magazine by peeling off the cover image. Underneath is a plain white cover which says “The Counterculture Issue’ in the centre. The idea is that the reader can then customise the cover as they wish.
To encourage this, Huck have launched a Creative Brief. Here’s what they say they want readers to do:
“1) Buy a copy of HUCK#022 – The Counterculture Issue
2) Destroy it!
3) Recreate it in your own image.
4) Take a photo of the finished product.
5) Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org”
This video explains more
Video: Jack Hyde.
While neither cover is a complete success– the Wallpaper* one is fiddly and, spinny asterisk aside, not always as rewarding as we’d hoped and Huck is maybe not quite as ‘subsversive’ as it would like to think it is – we applaud any attempts to innovate in print. It’s incredibly expensive and risky to do such things for magazines – there’s never enough time or money to test ideas properly beforehand, the restrictions are massive and the costs eye-watering. Whatever you do with a magazine, it’s always a compromise between the desirable and the achievable.
In a world of digital wizardry it’s great to see print magazines aiming for similar levels of innovation and ambition.