People of Print founder Marcroy Eccleston Smith talks to Conor Mahon about the pertinence of the physical magazine
The advent of e-publishing has been described by some as print’s swan song, while others say it’s too early for a post-mortem. Over the summer of 2014, People of Print‘s founder and director, Marcroy Eccleston Smith, crowdfunded and launched Print Isn’t Dead – a quarterly magazine intended to highlight print’s relevance. As the second issue of Print Isn’t Dead hit the shelves, we spoke with Marcroy to see how the publication has developed since its launch issue.
Why do you think print is still an important medium?
Print is always going to be relevant because it’s a strong, tangible medium that works hand-in-hand with today’s digital technology and internet environment – like brother and sister. You can achieve spectacular results that you can only get through print; there are so many options to choose from in terms of substrates and surfaces, that it becomes its own subject of study and expertise.
What did you set out to do with Print Isn’t Dead?
Our goal is to showcase the utility and scope of print through the content and form of our magazine. We originally looked into developing a book by ourselves, but it was just incredibly expensive. We approached a publisher and the book got the go-ahead, but we began to find there were limitations to book publishing so we looked for other ways to release material.
How did you go about funding the second issue?
We decided to crowdfund it. Our motivation for using Kickstarter was so we could pay it forward; we also needed to secure the funds to pay for the printing and materials such as high quality paper.
The initial urge when funding goes well is to go for a larger print run, because then there’s more to sell, but we opted for more pages instead to free up the design. We also added two Pantone spot colours and commissioned a screen printed cover for this edition with the extra funds.
What does the future have in store for Print Isn’t Dead?
The processes behind this magazine – the screen-printed cover, having it delivered and bound, using fluorescent ink, etc. – are layered in much the same way as an actual screen print. In the future, we’ll need a proper publishing model, which we hope to achieve by edition #3.
We’ve gained an audience through quality and for issue three we hope to build on that via HP indigo printing. This digital method would allow us to offer a print-to-order service; people could potentially customise their own front cover with 140 characters, making each magazine unique. Future editions will morph with each iteration having different papers, ink set-ups and stretch goals to continue to demonstrate the versatility of print.