All Articles
All Articles
CULTURE

We Make Magazines: An Interview with Andrew Losowsky

by Fiona Killackey
on 22 July 2009
WMMcovershot.jpg

In spite of naysayers proclaiming the death of magazines year after year, the Colophon International Independent Magazine Biennale thrives on. Proving that in our increasingly digital age online publishing can co-exist with—and perhaps even increase the popularity of—this tangible vehicle for thought, We Make Magazines: Inside the Independents, a new book produced by two of Colophon's curators, highlights and celebrates the best of the world's independent magazines.

CH caught up with Andrew Losowsky, media expert, journalist, author, magazine addict and We Make Magazines editor to discuss new media, the current global economic crisis and why we're not ready to let go of the magazine format just yet.

What's your link to Colophon and what do you think Colophon offers the magazine industry?
I'm one of the curators, along with Mike Koedinger and Jeremy Leslie.

I think that Colophon offers the magazine industry a place of encounters and discussions where the focus isn't purely on making money and raising circulation, but on the joy of making magazines. It helps point to a future where print exists for those publications that make the most of their qualities as digital media increases in number and popularity, print is no longer the default option. Those who want to use it should be bold, brave and exciting with it—or go online with everyone else.

CH_WMM_2.jpg

What impact is the crisis making on the magazine industry?
It depends on what kinds of magazine and where [it's published]. The biggest issue facing most magazines is the disappearance of print advertising budgets—and many people are wondering if they'll ever come back.

It is true to say, I think, that independent magazines, which are the focus of the book, have in general been less affected by the crisis than some of the mainstream newsstand titles, for a number of reasons—including because few of them have ever tried to boost circulation figures by offering cut-price subscriptions, one of the biggest financial issues currently facing big titles. Also, independent magazines are usually created with extremely limited resources regardless of the state of the economy; the crisis is just another challenge to have to deal with in the struggles of making a magazine.

What do you believe makes a magazine worth reading?
That it fulfills its mission, whatever that may be. That it combines design and editorial in imaginative ways, that both give the readers what they want and gives them what they don't know yet how to ask for. That it surprises, delights and creates discussion every issue.

CH_WMM_3.jpg

What's next for you?
I work on many different projects, as a journalist and a writer. My book of photographs and short stories, "The Doorbells of Florence," just came out and I'm also working on a couple of new book projects. I also write a weblog about magazine-related issues, Magtastic Blogsplosion, and beyond all that, Colophon2011!

Pick up a copy of "We Make Magazines" from Amazon.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem
Loading More...