Smith Journal, a twice-yearly magazine by Morrison Media (Frankie publishers), is a good reminder of how magazines should be done. As a former editor of a number of different titles I’ve worked on my share of “get it out the door and get started on the next issue” mastheads.
There’s no need to name names and it’s certainly not a trend limited to just one publishing house. In this day of added pressure from online media, differing consumer spending habits and lower advertising spend off the back of the global financial mess, it’s a wonder some magazines still exist, let alone new ones like Smith Journal popping up.
Smith Journal is a purely Australian magazine for the more hipster inclined gent, but don’t let that stop you picking it up if you’re not so inclined. More than anything else, it’s an ode to what a magazine should be. Brilliant design, well thought out feature articles, amazing illustrations and a good mix of content that has been well targeted to a specific demographic. Sure, there are only two issues each year, but if Morrison spends as much time getting issue two right as they obviously did with issue one, then it’s the best $11.95 you could possibly spend.
As the title suggest, Smith Journal is a magazine that houses only various sized feature articles, akin to journal entries. Topics are numerous, from fashion to music, sport to design and even, um, quantum mechanics. Each article is well constructed and in perfect style harmony with the others. It’s also one of the best designed magazines I’ve seen in years. Issue one is a 146-page feast that’s on sale now. The cover feature is the wonderful type writers used by the authors that have shaped the 20th and 21st century.
Anyone still buy magazines, then?
Web: Smith Journal
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.