PRINT VS DIGITAL

With publications such as Teen Vogue converting solely to digital and the world of magazines slowly declining over recent years, it inevitably brings forward the question 'How much room is there left for print publication?' The digital era is growing at a rapid rate that I don't think any of us ever expected and plays such a crucial role in our daily life now more than ever before. So what is still keeping our beloved magazines alive?

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The digital factor offers both practicality and accessibility of being able to have a selection of magazines stored within your phone and having the ability to read them whenever and wherever you are. You're now able to share your favourite pieces through your social media platforms and have the advantage of targeting exactly what content you want to read without the chore of flicking through numerous pages of perfume adds. One of the first things I do when I wake up in the morning is check my emails and Twitter feed, I can pin point anything I want to read or even have the option to save an article for later. As the advance in modern technology has got dramatically bigger, our attention spans have grown much smaller. Nobody has the time to sit down and read something anymore, we are all so busy rushing around and living our lives that digital can simply cater an alternative for, you get the information quick and fast. A given pro towards digital is the cost effective side with various financial outgoings being taken out and companies still having the advantage of reaching their audience within a single email. An underlying guilt of mine is the pile of magazines I have sitting at home in the corner of my room (that seems to be dramatically expanding each month), it almost seems wasteful, which the digital option completely eliminates. Not only is it just the digital versions of the magazines that print is having to compete with but also the army of bloggers that are constantly producing fresh and relatable content for readers. The new wave of influencers brought something new to the table that magazines couldn't, which in turn has created a dramatic shift into how many brands are now focusing on working with bloggers rather than advertisement within publications. This alone shows just the effect social media is having on the industry which has encouraged more people to seek the information they desire through their hand held devices.

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Despite the many attractions that come with digital, there's perhaps one thing it may never be able to conquer which is the emotion of physical interaction. The process from going into a shop to purchase my favourite fashion magazine to then taking it home and reading it will always outweigh reading something via my laptop. The feeling of paper on your fingers as you flick through the pages of a glossy magazine whilst divulging into a world that has been created for that specific issue is not only deeply satisfying but also acts as a fuel to keep buying the magazine in print time and time again. Although both versions of a magazine are more or less the same, there's something I find slightly empty about having a soulless screen of words on in front of me compared to having the real life thing. Digital could be becoming it's own worst enemy by how repetitive it can be, from posting a photo on Instagram to writing a tweet, it all requires me to use a piece of technology which over time gets tiring. If I've spent a couple of hours on social media the last thing I will then want to do is spend even longer online reading something, it becomes toxic without people even realisingg. We often say 'an escape from reality' but what if print magazines are providing a way for us to still 'escape back to reality', in the sense of having an object to hold. 

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Print isn't going anywhere for the foreseeable future and will continue to exist alongside digital. Instead of comparing the two as if its a fight for survival, maybe we should be looking into how they can compliment one another. Creating a unique balance between print and digital for the publication might just be the solution for some of the issues magazines are currently facing. The fashion industry has been hugely impacted by an online presence and although magazines are now changing to adapt to the current consumer demand, it's a timeless segment that will continue to be present for past and future generations. 

 

Photography by Lois Slingsby

Magazines: British Vogue, Elle UK

Website on phone: The Business of Fashion