Thursday, March 19, 2009

A tale of two FILE Magazines...

I am a big fan of the international design industry news and discussion site QBN.com. During a visit there yesterday, I clicked my way into a discussion on the subject of FILE Magazine. What I found there impressed me with the depth of knowledge represented by the site's membership, and two very different -- and yet very cool -- magazines, both named FILE. The first, which we'll call "FILE MAGAZINE (www.file-magazine.com)" is a new DVD/print-based literary/culture/arts magazine from the UK. As someone pointed out in the thread, it features a very old-school approach, in that it is subscription-based, virtually all its contents are offline, and in order to get an issue, would-be readers will need to pick up a copy at one of many retail outlets, or otherwise rely upon the mail. While the person that brought this publication to QBN's attention took some heat for the mag's traditional approach, others who have gotten their hands on copies have praised the value based on the £6.50 + p&p cover price, the high quality of the printed and DVD contents, and even made the point of how much more they've enjoyed experiencing the magazine than they would have if it was "just another" online mag featuring online video content.


Oddly, soon after the original announcement for "FILE MAGAZINE" appeared with its link and info, someone wrote, "Not to be confused with filemagazine.com." This other publication, which we'll call "FILE Magazine (www.filemagazine.com)" is (ahem) an online publication that presents its own collection of high-quality photographic images which "treat subjects in unexpected ways," and does a great job of showcasing and appreciating its contributors. Seemingly, this FILE represents a totally different philosophy and approach to its business model -- and its way of reaching, engaging and entertaining readers. To me, both projects are very much of interest, and perhaps even moreso because of the contrasting existence of the other. I thought you might enjoy checking them out yourself.