For the past couple weeks I’ve felt like Ralphie checking the mailbox for the Red Ryder code but my patience has paid off. The new Spin magazine is gorgeous. Not too long ago the magazine announced they’d be cutting down on physical magazines in favor of an increased web presence. What was once 12 issues a year is now 6 double issues and I received the virgin issue Tuesday.
It’s a piece of art. Unlike too many other quality print magazines, Spin has recognized that its extinction was imminent unless they adapted. They’ve consolidated their albums reviews to their website (as well as made them available at @SPINReviews) and have released an all-encompassing, interactive app. The website will eventually overtake the magazine completely and it’s clear Spin is doing that on their own terms.
Anyways, back to this months issue. The magazine itself is 9.5 inches by 12 inches, up from the previous format of 8⅞ inches by 10⅞ inches. It may not seem like much but the aesthetic difference is huge. The paper is also heavier and higher quality. When you turn the pages they make that beautiful low feh sound. Instead of quick blurbs on every page the issue is a collection of (comparatively) longer form interviews, news stories, and analysis. The most striking difference is the focus on pictures and photography. There are more than a few full-page pictures and every photo in the magazine has deeper color schemes.
It’s the journalistic equivalent of vinyl. The emphasis on art pays huge dividends and what in the past would’ve looked cheap and almost plastic now is presented in a rich format.
Maybe print isn’t dead yet.