Print-On-Demand Magazine Covers
Posted by danspira
Print-on-demand (p.o.d.) technology makes an impact with National Geographic’s Your Shot magazine cover (hat tip to Jeff B). Yes, the technology has been around for over a decade, but the economies of scale of traditional magazine printing have always posed a cost challenge to p.o.d., even as that technology gets steadily better and cheaper every 6 months. Meanwhile, the wealth of global user-generated content, especially in the form of photos, continues to grow exponentially. So, National Geographic, a magazine renowned for its dramatic images from across the world, set out on this project 3 years ago, asking readers to submit their photos for publication. The editors then chose 100 out of over 150,000 submissions, and now will let readers/aspiring photographers put whatever they want on the cover.
Forget those fake hey-look-my-face-is-on-the-cover-of-SportsIllustrated/RollingStone/Playboy/etc services you find at tourist traps, this boat is real!
Way back in the Year 2006, TIME Magazine did an analog version of this, by including a mirror on its Man Person of the Year cover, as a tribute to the power of Web 2.0 user-generated content.
Social media means that it’s no longer about one person anymore. Whether it’s auditing the paid journalists and politicians, or re-writing the encyclopedia, we’re all making an impact on the world together.
Alternately: Social media means that it’s all about one person, and that one person is YOU. Yes, anyone with a blog can get their 15 seconds of fame… but that fame will take place privately, in each person’s own home, because everyone else is too busy looking in the mirror, too.
Here’s an idea: Forget print-on-demand technology. Heck, forget mirrors. Just cut out a semi-circular section off the bottom of a magazine, so that readers can contemplate their own navels.
I kid, I kid.
Uhh, how come WIRED magazine never did anything like this with their cover?? Guys, seriously, enough with clogging your magazine content with movie/game/gadget ads…