There’s no denying the print magazine industry is in a slight decline. Even publications like Vogue seem to be struggling as they turn to digital subscriptions and boosting their online presence to boost sales.
I guess in some ways we’re partially to blame. As both a blog reader and avid social media user, I rarely get my news or fashion/beauty fix in print anymore. Why would I splash out when I can get my content pretty much for free online? I had admittedly fallen out of love with the printed medium and rarely actually pick up a copy of Glamour or Elle anymore – if I do it’s normally because I’m swayed if one of my faves is the cover star.
I am slowly reginiting my love for print though thanks to independent magazines. It’s a slow crawl but like other ‘lost’ art forms (podcasts, crafting, vinyls etc.) they’re experiencing somewhat of a comeback. Publications like Oh Comely or Kinfolk are thriving, as are a number of other niche titles. There seems to be an allure to what’s being created. Pickier magazine readers are seeking something individual and more cutting edge, others may have also grown bored of seeing the same high street top in every ‘glossy’.
I too feel the same. To me ‘independents’ curate their content carefully and often have more time to put together the magazine (with many produced on a quarterly or biannual basis). The content in each magazine is also less ’timely’, writing is less geared towards season – which means you’ll never want to chuck them away. Topics also feel timeless, meaning you can return to them over and over again.
Alongside the timeless content is the frankly fantastic quality of these magazines. The content is exquisite and with the timeframe they are produced in editors have time to craft their writing and their art direction is always amazing too.
And the best thing about these ‘independents’? They’re always feel totally unique. Magazines like these work well within their niche and never seek to follow the crowd, and reading an independent is almost like a voyage of discovery into art and culture you’ve never heard of. With this level of quality it is expected that these magazines are definitely more expensive that your average ‘Look’ or ‘Grazia’ but they don’t skimp on quality and more often than not these magazines have jumped onto the digital bandwagon much quicker than the bigger brands. Meaning they’re social media presence is usually solid and you can also find so much more additional content online too.
My own personal favourites are gear towards my taste and interests. Where some of the more famous publications tend to be a bit hit and miss when it comes to content that is actually relevant to me, independents fill the gaps and consistently impress.
Four I’ve fallen in love with recently are:
- Oh Comely | A blogger favourite! Oh Comley curate quietly inspiring content. They profile artists and creators, accompanied some seriously dreamy art direction, and whisk you away to a much calmer place when you flick through its pages.
- Mslexia | A creative writing magazine specifically targeted towards women. They cover topics on the publishing industry, creating all forms of writing (from haikus to full length novels) and offer some fantastic book related features.
- Geeked | Feminism mixed with a severe love of popular culture, Geeked is a must read for fair weather nerds and hardcore fangirl’s alike.
- Frankie | A little collection of cosy and quirky goodness all the way from Australia, Frankie – like Oh comely – is full of fantastic articles, inspiration and art direction.
And there are, of course, so many more I wanna pick up!
Are you an avid ‘independent’ magazine reader?
Which publications have you picked up recently or keep returning to?