10 things I learned from Magfest #6

By, Neil Braidwood, Creative & Publishing Manager, Connect Communications

I have been to every single Magfest. There have only been six of them, but I can’t imagine ever missing one. The quality of speakers over the years has been incredible – this event punches well above its weight – and it’s right here on our doorstep. One conference we don’t need to travel to London for.

I admit it. I am a magaholic. I have a fairly large collection of magazines (a modest 1,000 or so – nothing like the vast Hyman Collection – see below) – so I was thrilled to be a part of this year’s Magfest, getting the chance to share some of my publications with delegates in a hands-on workshop on the day.

Whether you are new to the industry, or an old hand like me, there is always something to take away from Magfest. Here are a few I scribbled in my notepad:

  1. Small changes can make big savings. Zillah Byng-Thorne of Future PLC standardised paper across all titles and saved £750,000 annually!
  2. New magazine launch Boom Saloon donates profits from the publication to running creative projects in underprivileged areas.
  3. James Hyman, owner of the biggest magazine collection in the world, always buys two of everything. That’s why it’s so big!
  4. If John Brown hadn’t spoken to editor of Viz magazine Chris Donald so much…his life would have been much easier.
  5. Marbles magazine exists to shine light on mental health issues in the community.
  6. Diminutive literary magazine Word-o-Mat can be purchased from a vintage Wurlitzer cigarette machine.
  7. Art director Mark Neil keeps all the versions of covers he has worked on, so that he can show the development of the final cover at events like Magfest.
  8. Before crime writer Ian Rankin got famous, he wrote for Hi-Fi Review magazine, and as a vinyl junkie, still uses much of the kit he blagged while working there.
  9. Vice Media branched into making video on the suggestion of film director Spike Jonze. Video and documentaries now define what the organisation does.
  10. Some of my most unreadable magazines (Raygun, Emigre) caused the most interest at my hands-on session. Go figure.

To find out more, contact Neil on +44(0)​131 561 0027, neil@connectmedia.cc