Not many publishers (any?) are as open with their behind-the-scenes work as Kai Brach of Offscreen. Earlier this month we talked about Brach’s open style of communicating directly with readers and how that is paying off in immediate feedback and improvements.
Now, Brach is offering insights into how he plans the content for each issue and creating a good reading experience.
It all starts by understanding “the edges of print.”
“While magazines are also great for ‘quick dips’ and reading in small chunks, most of us start from the front cover and work our way through to the final page. Compare this to consuming content online: how often do we start reading an article only to find ourselves watching a farting cat video because we clicked on a link half-way down the page? There aren’t any edges in digital,” he notes, referring to a great article on the edges of print by Craig Mod.
Brach asserts that this is one of the reasons why print is still such a great storytelling platform. He goes on to give details on how he created the template for his magazine, and uses it to define how much content should go into each issue. As his process unfolds, we begin to see just how much his mind works like a designer, which translates beautifully for his readers.
And while the right brain creativity is flowing, he has a commensurate left brain process in place to keep track of deadlines, contributors and workflow via spreadsheet. Very smart.
“The content plan is one of the most important tools in the making of a magazine,” Brach asserts.
It’s a good read for anyone looking for a glimpse into the creative magazine process.