Digital-first Publisher Wraps Their Audience in Printed Pages

Back in 2007 a new blog called It’s Nice That launched, dedicated to “putting something out into the world that made people feel better about themselves,” as the brand’s Alistair Hanson explains to The Stack on Monocle

It’s Nice That struck a chord – everyone needed this kind of relief back during those unsettled days — and their exposure grew. They are now a multi-channel media brand, and two years ago they expanded into print, with the launch of Printed Pages

Monocle recently interviewed Hanson about their latest issue of Printed Pages, which is dedicated the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school of design in Germany. 

“In this issue, we delve deep into both the Bauhaus archives and its long-lasting legacy with Pentagram partner Sascha Lobe, 100 years after the school first opened its doors,” notes this post from It’s Nice That. “Together, we look at how in only 14 years, the Bauhaus pioneered a spirit which still rings true today, a spirit which Sascha has channelled into Printed Pages AW18’s cover and accompanying poster.”

As a digital-first brand, Monocle was curious to know why print? And what’s the role of Printed Pages in the larger brand?

 “It is really important to have things in print,” explains Hanson, “and we’ve always understood that there is a demand for it, for us to do something in print.  As primarily an online publisher, it’s a great way to have a different connection to the audience, to do something that can communicate your tone as a brand, away from the digital screen. 

“I think it’s also an important way to show your design sensibilities and editorial sensibilities toward something,” he continues. “It really allows you to connect to your audience in a different way.”

That audience is often made up of creative people, who either work or play in the arts. So tapping into their interests in a printed format made good sense. 

“We find it’s read by so many people who work in the creative industry, as well as people who read it for the curation and are really interested in creativity,” Hanson continues. “What we like to think it that it provides our readership with something that allows them to read It’s Nice That in a way that’s outside of their working day-to-day.”

While they do not operate on a subscription model, the magazine is available for sale at brick and mortar outlets in the UK and several European cities. They also sell directly to readers in their online shop; buying it there gives readers some great free goodies like prints, posters, postcards and stickers, making the £10 price seem like a fantastic value. 

For Hanson, there exists a beautiful synergy between the site content and the print issue. As he explains, they are both compendiums of the best lifestyle content. 

“The magazine is a way to bring it all together every six months and celebrate the best of what we’ve done, and that’s a pretty hard task when you publish how many articles online every day, to actually edit all that stuff down,” Hanson notes.

They manage to do it … beautifully … and Printed Pages is an excellent example of how to curate a website into print. Take a look and see if you agree.