Following the success of last year’s event, The Modern Magazine day returns on 19th September (as part of the London Design Festival) as a one-day conference, staged by magCulture and co-hosted by Jeremy Leslie and Liv Siddall. The 2014 edition focuses on the future of publishing, with guest speakers from across the world gathering to discuss their take on what happens next as the publishing industry continues to work out its future.
“We’ll hear from Adam Moss, editor of iconic US magazine New York about balancing print and digital, from David Moretti, design director of Wired Italia about designing for print and iPad, and from Jeremy Langmead about content marketing. The people behind some fo the best independent magazines will be discussing their role in the wider context of magazine publishing.”
I caught up with TMM organiser and all round magazine guru and good-guy Jeremy Leslie to find out more…
The Modern Magazine conference is back (just as we hoped it would be!) What was it that made you want to put on another conference of this sort?
The original event was intended as a one-off to celebrate publication of my book of the same name. And it would have remained a one-off if we hadn’t had such a positive reaction to the day. Every review, the speakers and the audience responded so well that it was on my mind from the next day that we needed to consider an annual event. And you wrote exactly that in your review. There are plenty of design-orientated conferences and talks in London, and there are many business-orientated publishing events. I believe there’s space for an event that covers editorial design in detail and across both mainstream and independent sectors. So having succeeded with it last year we’re seeing if we can make it annual. So far it appears to be a ‘yes’!
How is it different from last years?
We learned a lot from last year’s first event in terms of planning, set-up, costs and content. That knowledge gives the team a sound starting point for this year.But the focus is different – last year was all about the book and I felt it needed me as the frontman on that basis. This year we’ll follow a similar format for the day but look more at the imminent future of magazines and editorial design. We’ve invited Liv Sidall from It’s Nice That to co-host, she shares my love of magazines, so I can be more directly involved in the day. For example I’ll be live interviewing Adam Moss, the inspirational editor of New York magazine about how he’s reshaping this iconic magazine for the future.The other big change is the location. We’ve moved to the London College of Communication to make it a little more intimate. Last year’s venue was spectacular but almost daunting! And LCC was where I studied (back when it was still called LCP) so there’s a satisfying element of return to that choice too.
What can attendees expect from the day, and who should come?
We try to create a balance between design and editorial, with both creative inspiration and solid discussion of issues facing the industry included. People already attending include working designers and editors form the UK and Europe, junior editorial staff and students. Editorial design in its broadest sense is increasingly relevant to all graphic designers as content becomes more central to our practice. There’s also a strong entrepreneurial element to independent publishing that is relevant to graphic design in the wider sense. Come and be inspired!
Obviously you can’t pick a favourite speaker (that would just be rude) but is there anything specific you’re particularly looking forward to this year?
Everyone’s been invited on merit so I can’t highlight single speakers. It’s more about the overall combination of participants; we set up the day as a live magazine, with different lengths and styles of presentation to avoid repetition. I’m just finalising the running order and am relishing the potential scheduling juxtapositions. One in particular is amusing me – it sums up the scope of what editorial design is. But I’m not letting on!
Adam Moss, editor, New York magazine.
Kai Brach, founder, Offscreen.
Veronica Ditting, art director, The Gentlewoman.
Peter Houston, blogger and man behind the Magazine Diaries.
Jeremy Langmead, Head of content, Christies.
Simon Lyle, editor of Hot Rum Cow and new magazine Poppy.
Danny Miller, founder of Little White Lies, revealing his new magazine.
David Moretti, design director of Wired Italia.
Rob Orchard, founder, Delayed Gratification.
Danielle Pender, editor, Riposte.
Elana Schlenker, founder, Gratuitous Type.
Pekka Toivenen, ‘art dictator’, FAT.
Steve Watson, Stack Magazines.
London College of Communication, Friday 19th September 2014.
Tickets cost £140 (£75 students), including lunch and refreshments throughout the day and drinks at the close, and are available from shop.magCulture.com. See you there!