I invited publication designer Thomas Miller and architecture and interior photographer Joern Blohm to have a discussion with me about architecture magazine, Mark. Mark is published bi-monthly in Amsterdam, features a perfect-bound 224-page folio and carries a $20 price tag on the newsstand and an annual subscription price of 90 Euros. The higher cost seems well worth the investment, as we’ll soon see.
I selected Mark because it publishes some of the most engaging and innovative architecture photography to be found on newsstands. To be fair, the European publishing model makes this possible with higher subscription rates allowing for less advertising. But Mark stands above the rest with an unparalleled level of attention and integrity put into its design and photography, both of which are in service to the architecture profiled on its pages. This makes for an engaging read with a sense of discovery and inspiration throughout.
How they do this exactly is discussed in depth by Thomas and Joern. What I didn’t expect to unfold in the conversation was a very deep argument for the redemptive value of powerful imagery, partnered with elegant design that acknowledges the role of inspiration in the act of communicating a message.
As a culture, we are so ready to let go of print as a medium. Could it be that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be rewarded for our attention? Could it be that this readiness has arisen in part out of the context of American publishing? That if we afforded ourselves the opportunity to be inspired by a deeper aesthetic magazine experience, would we not be so eager to declare the death of print a foregone conclusion?
If you just want to look at the photos and decide for yourself about the future of print, jump ahead. If you’re up for a thoughtful conversation, grab a cup of coffee. This is a longer post than most.