Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Why digital?


I think it goes without saying that I'm a fan of digital magazines! So for those of you sitting on the fence about them, I'd like to try to persuade you by waxing a little lyrical, if I may, about the benefits as I see them.

I should start by saying that not all digital magazines are created equal. Despite the technology being available, most publications are still just replica PDFs of the print version. Mixed Up is a fully interactive magazine, taking advantage of the format as much as we can - as I see it there's no point being a digital-only product if you don't exploit the medium you are working in.

I really do think that digital can offer so much more than print, once you start to explore the possibilities and work with them. Mixed Up has lots of content that most digital magazines don't. If you've been put off by the PDF clones in the past, then I can promise that Mixed Up offers something different and fun that currently you can't (as far as we know) find elsewhere in the craft sector.

Here are my top 10 reasons for choosing digital - in the case of Mixed Up at least!

1) Diversity of content - it's not just a reading experience, it's interactive. There is video, there are slideshows, we can flip an image to show you the back. And of course there are clickable links galore.

2) Detail, detail, detail - you can zoom in to really see the detail on a piece of art and with slideshows we can show you 5/10/15 different views or close ups that would fill 10 pages of a traditional print magazine.

3) Price - lower production costs can be passed on to you, the reader, meaning that even a niche publication can be priced competitively.

4) Convenience - you can read the magazine anywhere as long as you've got your smartphone or tablet with you (and you know you have!). Travelling? You can literally take 50 magazines with you if you want, on one small device. With our distributor pocketmags you buy the mag once and then you can read it on any number of compatible devices.

5) Linking - Mixed Up is full of links to everything we can think of. Like an artist? Visit their blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, etsy shop. Like a product? Click straight through to the retailer.

6) No waiting - when you subscribe the mag is delivered straight to your device, on day of release; no waiting for Mr Postie. When you buy an issue, access is instant.

7) No petrol or P&P - you don't have to leave the house to get your favourite magazine or pay shipping to get it delivered.

8) No storage - they take up no space in your already packed-to-the-brim craft room!!!

9) International distribution in one click - Mixed Up is available on the same on-sale date in every country. No more do my friends in Oz have to wait weeks for their latest issue!

10) Flexibility - as a print editor, I'm largely stuck with set number of pages per issue. No so with digital. I set myself a minimum of course, in the interests of quality control, but if I want an article to be a couple of pages longer because it warrants it, then I can do that. More flexible for me, better content for you.


Being truly honest, the initial reasons for going completely digital were not wholly about my vision for Mixed Up, although that certainly was firmly in my mind. There were also practical concerns with print about distribution, storage and the like. For a new start-up, digital was certainly logistically somewhat simpler and like it or not, print media is in decline while digital media is a growth industry.

Yet, even if print had been on the table I'd have been hesitant to choose it and once I started to explore what digital magazines could offer, I began to get really excited about the prospect. And so Mixed Up was born! I know it's not going to be for everyone but I do think it's time that magazines were dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century; I'm doing my best to fly that flag.

I've love to know your thoughts on going digital.

Katy x

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Freebie Project Issue 3


Hope you are enjoying Issue 3 and like your free gift of the printable cabinet card image. Here are the steps to make my mini canvas using the freebie, as featured on page 75.

1) Cover a piece of scrap chipboard with DecoArt DecouPage papers (Olde Worlde). Add thin washes of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in Blue Green Light, Cobalt Teal Hue and Burnt Sienna. Use light washes and keep blotting off the excess to create little pools of colour.

2) Print off the image. I used really cheap photo paper from the £1 shop for this as it's less glossy than expensive paper and also thinner so it's easier to work with. Crumple and distress the photo a little to age it. Ink the edges with Coffee Archival Ink.

3) Add some scratch stamping to the background (Andy Skinner Stampendous) in black Archival. Layer up the photo with some scraps of book page and loops of thread.

4) Paint a chipboard clock (Tando) with DecoArt Media Metallic Gold paint and age by sponging with black Archival Ink. Stamp with the scratches as before and layer over the photo.

5) Create some coordinating embellishments - here a chipboard compass (Tando) is given Andy Skinner's rust effect (I used Texture Sand Paste, then Raw Umber and Quinacridone Gold paints). The metal compass (Tim Holtz) is painted with DecoArt media paints mixed to a patina colour, applied then wiped back when partially dry. I layered these with some postage stamps and a Word Band (Tim Holtz).

6) To finish I added some brass corners, also stamped with the scratches. StazOn is the best ink to use on metal surfaces.

I hope you like my mini project, and if you make something with the printable please share it with us either here or on our Facebook page.

You can get your copy of Mixed Up here!

Katy x