Digital Discovers Print

Digital Discovers Print LESLIE.jpgBy Jeremy Leslie

It's long been argued that print and digital should work alongside one another to get the most out of both forms, but generally this has been read as print adding digital to its existing channels.

Recently though we've seen multiple examples of digital publications and brands launching print publications for the first time. These have ranged from bloggers and web publishers extending their voice into magazines to digital businesses adding a printed publication to their marketing efforts.

The most intriguing example of the former is The Pitchfork Review, launched by the team behind the website Pitchfork. Launched 19 years ago, the site has developed from covering indie rock to a broader palette of music coverage that attracts a huge daily readership. In doing so it has had the similar effect on music magazines as the MP3 had on record sales. Although not the only reason for the decline of the traditional music mag, Pitchfork has surely played its part in their demise.

Yet a year ago Pitchfork launched its own print magazine, the quarterly Pitchfork Review. Taking its cue from the independent magazine scene, the 210-page perfect bound publication announced, "We've always been huge fans of the print medium. The Pitchfork Review will allow us to extend our passion for music, images, and storytelling into a new arena."

The magazine mixes new, long form writing with content from the website. The less time-sensitive print environment allows the editors the opportunity to publish material outside the site's day-to-day remit, and the "Control P" section republishes and extends material that first appeared online, allowing added annotations and footnotes. It permits a more considered editorial approach, beyond what creative director Michael Renaud describes as the "Hey this is new music you should check it out"' limits of the website.

That the team love print was evident from the first edition of the magazine. From the soft-finish print effect of the front cover to the gatefolds and seven inch vinyl record insert, this was a special piece of print designed for the music obsessive.

Here are some pages from the recently published issue four.

Pitfork_Review_Hairline_1.jpgFrom the opening Flipbait section, a look back at a lost "gem" is accompanied by a sleeveface-style image, and on the right an idiots' guide to the year's upcoming releases riffs on the Dummies series of guidebooks.

Pitfork_Review_Hairline_2.jpgA regular feature of the Review is archive music photography, here a look at the work of Jini Dellacio.
Pitfork_Review_Hairline_3.jpgMusic facts and opinion neatly rendered as infographics.

Pitfork_Review_Hairline_4.jpgAn extract from a recent book on David Bowie, illustrated by Jesse Harp.

Pitfork_Review_Hairline_5.jpgThe Review also majors on comic strips. This example by James McShane tells the story of electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram.

Pitfork_Review_Hairline_6.jpgA history of New York's NASA club.

Indie mags2.jpgOther websites that have launched print magazines recently include CNET, Protein, HypeBeast, Thisispaper and Unmapped as well as digital companies such as Monotype (The Recorder) and Air BnB (Pineapple).

The Pitchfork Review
The Recorder
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