Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blogs Vs Magazines

Am I really that old? I remember as a young designer in the art department at Vogue LIVING, we were shown this new American magazine that we all supposed copied OUR name. It was called Martha Stewart LIVING. We scoffed politely. These were the early days of the light and bright lifestyle magazines and the Aussies, perhaps because we live like that, nailed the look first. That was 20 years ago!

Martha was very clever. She took that look and made it her own in a market that was, and still is, about 15 times bigger. It's ironic to think that the girl at the helm of MSL magazine nowadays is an Aussie girl who was the creative force behind Donna Hay magazine.

What I am getting at however is what does the future hold for printed magazines in a world where blogging is catching on in a big way? The mags feed the blogs, but the blogs also feed the mags.
Do you still like the feel of paper and having a magazine on your coffee table to pick up and flick through ? Do you blog and read magazines as well?
What do design blogs do for you that magazines don't?
I'd love to know your thoughts.


  1. I don't even read the magazines in Borders any more, just get my fix online! Possible exceptions when I get my hands on Australian or English magazines, and read everything, even the small ads, just soaking the whole culture up.
    Most of the time though, it is a delight not to have to wade through the advertising.
    (sorry. you asked)

  2. I may be in the minority but I totally go to blogs over magazines. I still get my magazines by subscription, but usually they sit and wait for me. Pre-blogs, I couldn't wait to open my magazines. My HB comes so slowly via subscription that I see most of the inside of that magazine in blogs weeks before I get the issue.

    I still love them, don't get me wrong. But they are more in the back seat these days. My blogs are ridin' shotgun...

  3. We're now into July 2010 and I have bought only two magazines for the entire year, one Vogue Australia, the other Belle Australia (Aug/Sept), and only because they had spaces I totally fell in love with and had to 'have'. Once I would have bought nearly everything going (but not those mumsy decor ones) My fix now comes online. And it is so good. No more buying magazines to find hardly anything to covet. And I can avoid those ridiculous 'stylist' pages (god I hate them!). And the ads. And more money in the bank. Good grief, I used to spend a fortune on decor mags.

    Online is fine with me - I'll only buy if there is a truly amazing home(s) inside. Oh, I still love the artistry of WoI.

  4. I do like my magazines. I like having something tactile that I can flick through over and over again. Blogs are good and I can quickly get a daily dose of inspiration, but I still like the paper version.

    Jennifer XX

  5. From one old Vogue Living girl to another Catherine, I do look forward to hearing what everyone thinks. I have been watching the change for many years now.

    Wishing you a wonderful day and a happy week ahead.

    Lots of love xxxx Coty

  6. i hardly ever buy magazines any more, occasionally aust.country style..
    i find blogs have way more inspiration, real homes, real people's lives & lots of creative ideas & humour. it's great to be able to choose the look & style you're into.

  7. I admit to still loving the glossy magazines! I love to curl up with a few, and just dive in!
    As you know I am also a blogger, and totally love that too, but for me it's more about the exchange of ideas across continents. I love to see what is going on in Australia vs the US vs Europe... Blogging and magazines still go hand in hand in my oppinion!

  8. It's a really interesting question isn't it...a bit like the future of books vis a vis the iPad. I guess there is a repetition now as blogs reproduce much of what is in the magazines, but I still love to hold one, flick through it, rip pages out. Old fashioned I know! To me the main, perhaps only difference is that blogs are interactive. We ask for feedback/advice...we get it! That's the point of difference for me, and yes, I read both...flat out like the proverbial lizard!

  9. I'm a die-hard mag fan, but I have to admit that I'm loving the whole blogging phenomenon - because of the immediacy. It's a bit like finding a new issue of my favourite mag at the newsstand every day. Add to that the ability to get info from overseas without waiting weeks or months, and it makes blogs hugely appealing. Having said all that, I'd hate to see the demise of magazines - I'd like to think there's room for both. K

  10. I read a ton of both blogs and magazines though my magazine budget has shrunk dramatically due to our bad economy. I love the immediacy and variety of information/photos on blogs. On the other hand, I also really like to absorb the details of rooms/homes I like, but don't want to be chained to my computer all the time. Often, I just want to curl up on my couch or bed with a nice magazine, not my laptop!

  11. I used to buy a RIDICULOUS amount of magazines, if I'd saved the money I would probably have a princely sump. But now, not so much. I love the access blogs give you and the great labyrinth of ideas you can absorb as one leads to another. Is it too much to say that it's phenomenal? It must almost qualify for that if doesn't quite! All that being said, I do still LOVE the opportunity to flick through a glossy with a cuppa in Borders or chat ideas with girlfriends on a couch while actually flicking through something tangible. We need the mags as the majority of the great pics originate there but the blogs give them their wings (my symbolism is overwhelming and choking me!). Didn't mean to write so much but there you have it. Nicolex

  12. I've had something of a magazine addiction since my first job in a newsagency in the mid 1980s. I have boxes and boxes of Vogue Living, World of Interiors, Elle Decoration, Elle Decor and Harpers Bazaar fash mags (including a couple of dozen vintage English Harpers from the 50s & 60s).

    Blogs are great. I love their immediacy, their personalities, and their capacity to feed my insatiable appetite for gorgeous images and ideas.

    But I still crave the sensory delight that magazines offer. They are permanent. They are portable time-capsules. They are goregous in piles or on coffee tables.

    In a way the difference between blogs & mags is like the difference between music albums and iPods.

    Albums (and magazines) present things as the artist (editor) intended, and that can be a fabulous ride. The layout and typography and even the gorgeous ads, do it for me more than the editorial content sometimes!

    The blogs are like iPods: at best a fantastic smorgosboard of my favourite things, but at worst a repetitive, dispirate melange.

  13. Sometimes I find it's good to settle back and read a magazine because the paper is so tactile and also because it's not interactive, so gives a more peaceful experience. But if I'm looking for the next big thing, I know I'll find it on the blogs first.

  14. I buy way too many "interiors" or "shelter" magazines. Every issue of Vogue Living, Belle, Real Living, Australian House & Garden, Australian Home Beautiful, Living etc., UK Elle Decoration, UK House & Garden, UK Homes & Garden, US Elle Decor, US Home Beautiful and of late South Africa House & Garden. I think that's all.
    Having said that, I currently have 284 blogs on my Blog reader.
    I don't think I could give up either magazines or blogs.
    I love blogs for generating discussion amongst design professionals and non-professionals like myself and for the ever constant posts. As Kerri said above, it's like getting a new issue of your favourite mag everyday.

    Sandy K

  15. It's an odd one because I find blogs more consistent than mags because some months a mag can be fantastic and then other months it will be a let down. Whereas, with blogs, you kinda know the author's voice, style, etc and it comes through consitently, which I like. That said, I'll always adore print - so I'm kinda hovering in the middle and can see what I like about both mediums.

  16. Design blogs expose many weaknesses of magazines. Especially the writing, creativity & exchange of ideas. And the fun of zipping around blogland. What magazine provides that?

    Magazines expose the weakness of blogging, photography.

    Many blogs combine fabulous writing with their own fabulous photography.

    Why aren't magazines jumping into the blog realm with gusto? Odd.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  17. I worked as an art director at magazines for years and can totally relate to your reaction to Living as we used to do the same thing to our competitors' designs too. I still love getting mags to flip through and am always excited when one arrives in the mail but have quickly grown to love the immediate design 'fix' that blogs provide and the lovely blog friends I've made! The worlds-a-changin! : )

  18. I like blogs better. I can drag and drop images into my files, without all the clutter of paper. I am interested in the comments people make and how their personalities emerge as we find each other again in various forums. The virtual world is not impersonal it is a true community of relationships where friendships develop. What could be better?

  19. I am still very much addicted to magazines! It is harder for me to read an entire article on a computer. Magazines are also just easier for me to tote around on trips. The images tend to stick with me more too. Online magazines are great too, but they just don't stick for some reason.

  20. Magazines hands down for me! I have been buying design magazines since I am sixteen years old and I still have some and they are now 23 yrs old! and in perfect condition. I have one spot for them all but blogs are just too fleeting I need something I can constantly refer to.

  21. Hopped over here from Life in a Pink Fibro. What a great blog. Finally found some people who are addicted to magazines as much as I am judging by your commenters. I buy whole stacks - I'm in the UK so I buy Elle Deco, Living etc, World of Interiors, Martha Stewart (any imports I can get), House and Garden, Homes and Gardens, Country Living, Coast. Shall I stop now? I don't buy all of them every month but I do have a habit. Used to write features on homes as a living although it's tailed off a bit now. I still like having something tangible in my hand to flick through, and I frequently rip bits out ofr tearsheets and scrapbooks which you can't do with a blog but I also like the immediacy of house/interiors blogs and the comments.

    Great blog. Serious envy of some of the houses shown.

  22. I love both and couldn't live without either. When it's all said and done, blogs are perfect for a daily fix and mags are perfect for more leisurely enjoyment. A holiday wouldn't be a holiday without magazines and tonnes of them.

  23. I still love to sit down and flick through my favourite magazines but I do find, unless it is a spectacular issue I only read it once! That seems a little wasteful which is why online magazines or blogs are a little more environmentally friendly. It will be a sad day though, when magazines are only available online! Tracey xx