I place a magazine before you. Then I ask a simple ‘yes or no’ question.
“Is this old media or new media?”
I can’t assume to know your answer, but I know that most people will tell me it’s old media. Old media is print, it’s TV, it’s the communication delivered by all those old mediums that generations older than our own busied themselves with over Sunday breakfast and while commuting to work. Anna Wintour would give such an answer. The majority would give such an answer.
But I’d argue that they’re wrong.
To me new media and old media isn’t about the medium, it’s not whether it transmits from a radio or a TV, or whether it’s printed on paper. To me, whether it’s old media or new media is defined by the approach of the publisher. Their outlook. Their attitude. The old outlook versus the new outlook. The old attitude versus the new attitude. The medium can be old fashioned. The presentation can be old fashioned. But new versus old all boils down to outlook and attitude. To doing things differently.
Vogue is old media. It’s kept on doing what it’s always done. It doesn’t matter how fancy their website is, nor how much influence they wield. Their whole approach sits at odds with the emerging generations, with the world as it’s changing. It’s clinging on steadfast to the years of old. And that is its strength (at least for the time being).
Collection Magazine is different. It has all the hallmarks of old media. It’s print. The paper stock is beautiful. The typography is beautiful. The ads are non-existent. Everything about it says that it’s trying to do things perfectly. And that’s the point where it becomes different, that’s the point where you realise the publishers are thinking differently. Their approach is to perfect the art of print. To turn a magazine into a curated piece of art work. This is a magazine’s potential romanticised. Collection Magazine is print media as new media.
Every now and then a new magazine title finds its way to me, having somehow materialised in my mailbox. Some are good. Some are bad. Some rehash the old print media approach, others show that their audience is a particular niche and they do it well. Collection Magazine is more the latter then it is the former, and yet to say that they do it “well” would be to understate the fact. From the moment I slid their first issue from the delivery envelope it was clear that true thought had gone not just into appealing to the niche the title was designed for (the niche you’re a part of as a fashioniser), but into its complete make up. From the framing, hard cover from which the magazine can be removed, to the crisp layout, heavy paper stock and perfect print smell of each page, it’s clear that Collection Magazine is a title striving for print as perfection.
And yet they’re not the first. So what really defines them as new media as opposed to old?
This is the first print title that has actively encouraged me to tear its pages apart (except, perhaps, for those you buy as a child that encourage you to plaster your bedroom walls with all manner of rubbish). Heresy you say? Why tear apart a magazine so well put together?
Because that’s the intention.
Collection Magazine isn’t simply an attempt at perfecting the print title, it’s the print title as art. It’s to be collected and enjoyed, a fact that the masthead alludes to. And that enjoyment doesn’t come through the title finding its way into your stack of magazines or coffee table books (it’s more the latter than the former) but when the best parts of the title are out on display. And this is the approach that really shows Collection Magazine are doing things differently, that really makes them a part of the new media set as opposed to the old: each page of the magazine is finely perforated down the spine, encouraging you not to just to turn the page, but to pull it out, to frame it, to have the photograph become actual art, art that graces your walls.
The photo featured at the top of this article come from the first issue and featured model Eliza Humble photographed by Trevor King and styled by James Dykes. The tie-in video for the photo shoot features below.