These days we seem to be getting an overdose on how “print will not survive,” a hyped up statement that is quite understandable. Since many of us have less time to read and easily read online.
Yet many of us people still do care about print reading, about going to the store, pick a magazine or book, touch and smell the paper, buy it and enjoy what is being served. Survey results that print magazine readers clearly find value in the old ink-and-paper content. Even if the new business is about creating and delivering online content, we absolutely still love a good old wonderful magazine or book.
See Magazine Apartamento. It sells out in days, is read in 45 countries and has been called the world’s hippest interiors magazine. Media news might be dominated by the decline of print, but Apartamento is quietly bucking the trend. Back in April, its founders, Nacho Alegre and Omar Sosa, celebrated as they sold all 25,000 copies of its ninth issue. The biannual, English-language publication was started in Barcelona from a tiny room in Alegre’s house, yet now hits newsstands in China, Lebanon and Kenya, as well as recording big sales in Berlin, London and New York. One London shop reported selling 140 copies, compared to the 15 or so copies the rest of the magazines it stocks usually sell.
Unlike many traditional interiors magazines, which feature cold, minimalist rooms full of unaffordable designer gadgets, the living spaces in Apartamento are often small, cluttered and have a lived-in feel. The people covered are largely creative types – photographers, artists, musicians – who are invited to talk about their living spaces.
These spaces are often rented, with family members, dirty laundry and used crockery all starring in photoshoots. Past features have included everything from tips for rooftop gardens and salad recipes to stories of nightmare roommates and a love letter from Chloë Sevigny to her New York apartment.
“It’s not about design and products. We’re not design fetishists,” said Alegre. “The idea is about how people live in their homes and being able to tell their amazing stories. It’s more like a diary.”
Now i’m no Luddite—reading on my iPhone has been a truly revolutionary experience, but I’m still a firm believer that print communications carry with them a weight and a substance to which the web still hasn’t caught up. We crave for real things, real life scenarios and sincerity. Well done Apartemento.