Life in the Balance Between Print and Web

[responsive]lagom[/responsive]Elliot Jay Stocks lives and works in the balance between print and web. And a recent interview with Stocks in MagCulture Blog notes that it’s this in-between space that keeps things interesting, and evolving.

Stocks is the creative director for Adobe Typekit and has done digital and print work for Virgin, Microsoft and MailChimp. He’s the former publisher of typography title 8 Faces, and he’s about to launch something brand new called Lagom, “a new lifestyle magazine celebrating innovation and creativity,” according to the Lagom website.

When asked what keeps him coming back to print, Stocks replied:

“It’s possible that it’s the web that makes me return to print. For years I was a web designer first and foremost, and when I launched 8 Faces in 2010, it was a reaction to the ephemeral nature of the web. I wanted to create something that wouldn’t just disappear in a year or two. And that’s how I view my relationship with print and the web: each is an antidote to the other. I’d go mad if I had to just pick one — it’s the balance of the two that keeps me sane.”

This time, Stocks notes in his interview, he’s trying a new approach to the magazine business model.

“With our other mags we relied on direct sales from our website, but we decided to radically change tactics with Lagom: we wanted to invest in getting it out there in real, physical shops around the globe; out there in the public’s consciousness,” Stocks said.

“The goal is to increase the print run quite considerably with each issue just to get it out into the world, which is an idea I learned from the Apartamento guys when they spoke at your Modern Magazine event last year.”

So far the reaction has been really positive.

“If you include subscriptions, we technically became ‘profitable’ just a few days after launch, which is something I didn’t expect to happen until much later. So in that sense, you could say that the magazine is already a success, but realistically we need time to make an accurate judgement. We printed a lot of copies of Lagom — far more than anything else we’ve published previously — and it’s going to be a long time before they’ve all gone. And all of that profit is going straight back into the production of the next issue.”

“One of the big challenges we’ve faced with Lagom is getting in advertising revenue — because it’s a brand new magazine and has pretty broad subject matter — so I’m hoping that when I approach potential advertisers for issue two, they’ll see what we’ve done and get on board. In some ways that will be a key part of how successful we are because we see advertising as a way of making Lagom a sustainable business, even though advertising will always be pretty low in terms of page count,” Stocks notes.

We wish Stocks much success with his new title and can’t wait to get our hands on it.