Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Redesigned Magazine Premieres

Subscriber Copy

Newsstand Version

Hot off the press, we just received the new issue of 3x3 Magazine, Issue 19 from our printer in Canada. After a three-month long redesign, we’re happy and excited to present our new issue.

It was back in July 2003 that the first design of 3x3 took place in a cramped bedroom with a 14-inch monitor, three months later the first issue rolled off the press in Nice. Albeit certain tweaks, the magazine design has remained constant since those very first days. We’ve come a long way since 2003, in equipment—a better set of Macs and bigger monitors—a bit more room though still a live/work space and support from my partner Sarah Munt and a dedicated group of freelance writers and photographers. But reaching our tenth year called for reflection on where we’ve been and where we’d like to go which resulted in changes.

There is no longer a premium subscription.
There is no longer a separate annual.
There is no longer a student discount.

All subscribers receive the annual, it’s a part of the magazine now.
All current subscribers will receive a digital version of the complete annual, going forward this will be offered as an option.
We’ll offer print and digital subscriptions, our digital subscriptions are a flat $27.99 for all countries. And perfect for students worldwide.

Our redesign includes a new size and our juried show results are within each of our three issues.

The 3x3 ProShow winners are in this issue, Issue 20 will include the Student Show winners and Issue 21 the winners of our Children's Show.

Inside the redesign

A smaller size so our newsstand copies will receive front row positioning rather than our current taller magazine which goes on the back row.

A larger format for our annual show winners so that we give more prominence to both single and series images.

And more pages, jumping from our standard 86-pages to 240-pages to justify our cover price of $22—comparable to the CA Illustration Annual at $24. And just $6 more than what we were charging.

We’ve dropped our Gallery section and modified and renamed our Showcase section. Our new Spotlight section will feature six illustrators and each spread shows multiple images with credits as well as answers to our standard 20 questions.

We’ve changed the way we are profiling illustrators especially with the introduction spread. There’s now a large photo of the illustrator opposite an original illustration incorporating their individual article number. All features will have titles and our design of the credits will be modified to work better with tablets and mobile devices.

In addition we’ll ask each illustrator for names of art directors, editors or designers they’ve worked with so we may get direct quotes about why they like working with them and incorporate those into the layout.

Each of our new issues will have a theme, this issue we look at whimsical illustrators, in our next issue we look at the new generation of illustrators and our third issue will focus on children’s books.

Why the change?

As we head into our tenth year we’re reflecting where we’ve been and where we’d like to go. Unlike most magazines we do not make our money from advertising, we are able to produce and publish 3x3 with a combination of newsstand sales, subscriptions and show entries.

What we see on the newsstand is that our annuals surpass our magazine sales counter to what we’d like to see as our audience of art directors and art buyers should be exposed to more of the background of how illustrators work. By combining our magazine and shows we hope to entice more readership for each of our magazines giving our audience a mix of features and award winners.

We’re working on a new web site and an app for our digital subscribers now.

We hope you will continue to support our efforts here at 3x3, we’re excited with our new direction and expect only good things to happen.

If you have any questions please let me know, chively@3x3mag.com. And let me hear your comments on our new direction.

Want to take a look? Subscribe and save 20% off the cover price. And 58% if you choose our digital version.

Cover image by Aaron Meshon. Badge design on the newsstand issues by Sarah Munt.