Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Business of Design Week - Day 2, part 1


In my humble opinion, there were several very interesting speakers on Day 2 of BoDW - one standout in my mind was definitely Tony Chambers, Editor in Chief of Wallpaper* magazine.

Chambers presentation was entitled "Brand Spanking" and posited that magazines and newspapers are not dead, print media is just no longer enough. This is a subject close to my heart, and I'm guessing quite a few of you out there, as it seems that bloggers and blog readers are also magazine junkies. Chambers spoke at length about the work that has been done to revive Wallpaper since founder Tyler Brûlé left the helm, and how they are dealing with not only the financial crisis, but avoiding ending up in the ever growing magazine graveyard. Making Wallpaper a brand is the strategy that Chambers feels will differentiate it from other printed "products". With the development of its online presence, and the Wallpaper city guides, it seems they have been quite successful so far.

But to me, the most innovative ideas they have shown are the one-off designer covers on special editions that will really make each issue a "product" worth keeping, rather than just a piece of information. Some of the most interesting covers of late use special technology that he admitted "costs a bomb". He also divulged that they have a contingency fund, which I think he referred to as the bankruptcy account, that allows them to invest in special covers every now and then. Some of my favorites were:

In the same month readers were given a choice between a strip tease cover by Karl Lagerfeld - peel away cover to reveal Karls' favorite model a la natural - or a flip animation by Philippe Starck.

Lenticular technology was used on this cover featuring a dress design by Hussein Chalayan that moved as you turned the cover.

Zaha Hadid's cover involved die cutting may pages of the magazine to form a 3D sculpture inside the magazine.

Some of my other favorite ideas were the glow in the dark cover, and the use of invisible ink (some of the type on the cover was only visible when the ink was exposed to the light). Pure genius.

Chambers touched lightly on the subject of online media, and said he felt it would not be the death of magazines, that instead it needs to enhance the readers experience. I really wanted to ask him about whether he felt blogs, twitter and facebook would play any role in their online presence, but they were running out of time. What would you have asked him given the chance?

2 comments:

id said...

Thanks Suzy for the update of what I had missed on Day 1 of BODW... You're the BEST!

Suzy said...

my pleasure!