Jeremy Leslie has pretty strong feelings about the print magazine industry – and he’s not shy about sharing them.
The founder of the magCulture media brand recently stopped into the Stack offices in London to speak wtih Stack’s Steve Watson about what new in the world of magazines, both big names and indies. He spent the first part of the podcast riffing about their upcoming modmag event in London in what is being billed as their “annual celebration of editorial creativity.”
It’s a perfect showcase for the brand, which started as an online blog and has grown to include an editorial-design studio, the magCulture Journal, and the brick and mortar shop that caters to print magazine lovers and can source titles from around the world.
One of the keynote speakers at this year’s modmag is Emmett Smith, the creative director from National Geographic and the artistic vision behind the title’s recent redesign.
According to Leslie, the iconic brand has a renewed commitment to the print side of their brand.
“They’ve reinvested in the print side of things,” Leslie explains, “which hadn’t been forgotten but perhaps taken a slight secondary role to the web and publishing online. They’ve invested a lot of money in their big redesign so I’m very excited to hear about that.”
As Leslie says, the National Geographic brand is a true icon in the industry, with many people crediting their love of the medium with their exposure to the yellow-framed publications in their childhood. At the other end of the spectrum, the conference lineup includes publishers from newer niche publications. This vitally important part of the industry is taking on contemporary concerns like feminism in ways that more established titles can’t.
Aside from talking about modmag, and the current London Art Book Fair in which magCulture has a large presence, Leslie shared some encouraging words about the print magazine industry in general.
“Always in the back of my mind I think ‘things are going to slow down’ but there’s always new stuff, and lovely new stuff, and exciting new stuff,” he says.
“One of the things I really enjoy is this international sense of people making magazines all over the word,” he continues, “and it’s fascinating to see how they all come together.”
In this spirit magCulture truly does celebrate the art and culture of magazines, and we wish them success at their modmag event in November. If you’re in or near the UK then, it will be worth the price of admission, I’m sure.