In his guest lecture at UE Berlin, Stefan Zowislo spoke to students about starting his own magazine “gemeinsam”. What were the main factors for a newly established magazine? How do you finance it? And what decides its success?
What should a magazine say
One important aspect is the theme. What should a magazine say? What does it report on? Is the market for the chosen topic already saturated or have you found a special niche? These are the questions that must be considered before even beginning with the design stage. The inside as well as the outside of the magazine must be thoroughly reflected upon. The layout and the cover say a lot about the content. The different bindings themselves make a significant statement. Using either a spiral binding or an elegant glued binding - that choice alone gives the magazine a distinct image.
In terms of designing the inside of the magazine, it’s important to pay attention to the appropriate balance between advertising content and text. If a magazine is overfilled with advertisements, it comes across as uninteresting and not worth reading. The “how and where” of placing content must be considered carefully so as to appeal to the reader.
How do you finance a magazine?
“You need serious partners and sponsors who support the magazine,” explains Stefan Zowislo. His magazine “gemeinsam” features a union comprising different. They finance their chosen project in the form of a magazine. Most of the income for financing the magazine comes from advertisers and product placements. A magazine must be thoroughly thought out before it is officially founded. Theory and practical application are not always easy to merge. Financing partners and an ingenious topic that will touch the readers and awaken their interest are of utmost importance.
Maybe there are a few future magazine founders among our students thanks to this inspirational talk.