21st Feb 2024
3 Min Read

The mags that made me

Paige Lazonby
Paige Lazonby
Creative content

With the volume of digital communications growing, teams are looking for different ways to create cut-through and make sure their messages land. The result? We’re seeing a return of the mag.

As more and more comms return to the glory days of print, we asked our team to reminisce about their own magazine experiences. From comics to Cosmo; SuperPOP to sci-fi royalty: our team have read them all.

Frazer MacRobert – Consultant

When there were mags on the table in a waiting room or reception, I’d always hunt out the interactive pages. It didn’t matter if it was Kerrang!, Reader’s Digest or Hello, as long as it had personality quizzes, flow charts, riddles or anything that sparked fun or tickled my curiosity, I’d indulge it.

I’ve never stopped chasing that spark. I’m all about making comms interactive, fun, dynamic and memorable. There’s a lot to be said for rethinking information, and how, when held in your hand, tangible print can create mini moments of immersive escapism.

Pete Fletcher – Senior creative

As a proud Whovian, I’ve subscribed to Doctor Who Magazine for over 30 years. It’s fascinating for me as a creative to see how it’s developed over time in tone and style.

When the TV show relaunched in 2005 the monthly magazine had a brand-new makeover. The children who read it growing up were now writers, editors, illustrators and designers who’d jump at the chance to be involved. Year-on-year, it finds new talent, new ideas and stays fresh. You can tell when people really care, and they’re allowed to let it shine through in their work.

It’s made us aware of amazing creatives including Ben Morris and Adrian Salmon, who’ve inspired me to think differently about how I see things – looking at design from a different perspective and pushing the expectation to create something better.

Hopefully, it continues to build and develop, inspiring the next generation. And I hope I never lose that thrill of excitement when I hear the letterbox go, and the familiar thud as a physical phenomenon lands on the mat.

Lucy Clapham – Senior writer

Like most millennials I grew up with a plethora of teenage titles and devoured any I could get my hands on. Girly titles like Mizz, Just 17, Sugar and More were always worthy of a flick through. But the most memorable title from my formative years was Melody Maker.

I felt cool reading about bands you didn’t hear on the local commercial radio station and would spend my weekends seeking out their latest single in Virgin Megastore. It opened me up to new music that spoke to my teenage angst, but also fresh opinions and thinking.

Most importantly it showed me it was ok to be alternative so I could embrace my tomboy fashion sense and lacklustre approach to hair and makeup – something that remains with me, in part, today.

Alastair Atkinson – Director of consultancy

I loved The Beano when I was a kid. My gran used to buy it for me every Thursday and I’d get the Annual every Christmas. I was a card-carrying member of the Dennis the Menace fan club and I repeatedly submitted jokes for the readers’ page (though never with any success).

The marriage of words and illustrations was magical to me, so it’s no surprise that pairing well-written copy with graphic design is a part of my job that I love. There was also a tongue-in-cheek humour about The Beano that I appreciated more as I got a bit older. Plus, I realise now that I was learning about different styles of writing; communicating via a comic strip is a particular art form that requires specific techniques.

Natalie Jarman – Finance assistant

When I was in my late teens, I was all about magazines like Glamour and Cosmopolitan with the ‘free’ gifts and fashion and relationship tips. Nowadays, it’s more Country Living and Woman & Home for the décor and recipes.

I’ve also, in the last few years, been a member of AAT and every month they send out an AAT Student Magazine. It has some great information on what employers are looking for once you have completed your course, how to get a job in the industry and just some really useful advice for anyone interested in accounts and the courses they offer. I found this really beneficial when applying for an accounts position after I’d finished studying my first course.

Jonny Gatenby – Senior creative

NME was my mag of choice. There were some great writers for NME back in the day: Andrew Collins, Stuart Maconie and Steve Lamacq to name a few. In a pre-internet world, it was my way of finding out about new music, upcoming gigs and the latest record releases.

It also had lots of great interviews with artists which gave a great insight into their world. The thing that made me keep going back was the content. The quality of the writing and its relaxed tone made me feel like I was discussing music with a friend.

Uxue Iñurretegi – Project delivery manager

In my early teens in Spain, I was obsessed with girly teen magazines like SuperPOP and in my university years, I started to read more topical magazines like Cinemanía (the Spanish equivalent of Empire).

I loved the excitement of going to the shop and buying a brand-new issue every month. It was such a thrill to open the magazine and read it from top to bottom. There’s something special about having a tangible thing to read. I still like reading Cinemanía when I go to Spain and even if SuperPOP isn’t around anymore, my childhood friends and I still talk about it!

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