Output Magazine – Print Edition

Print innovators bring publishing back to Fleet Street

A magazine believed to be Fleet Street’s first in a quarter-century has been published by a young British start-up and a group of technology innovators. In collaboration with Konica Minolta, Antalis and Duplo, upstart brand Met Creative has bucked the prevalent trend in publishing by taking its online platform Output and transitioning it into a printed product – all from its home at the iconic St Bride Foundation.

The first, 2,000-strong run of Output Magazine sees the visual communications title fulfil the first task in its ongoing mission: to identify and prove a new concept that will drive publishing into new fields of commerciality, impact and leanness. Its digitally printed magazine leads on its expert team’s technical and analytical content about print, advertising and display technologies, while showcasing how the digital print process can be applied to publishing to create a new model for readers and advertisers alike.

Produced in house by Met Creative’s editorial staff, a print-ready PDF was hand-delivered to Konica Minolta’s ihub business suite at 90 Chancery Lane to be configured for press. Ten minutes later, with colour calibration and registration confirmed, the run began on the manufacturer’s bizhub C8000 and C1070 digital presses. Printed on Antalis’s digigreen silk stock – notorious for its 50% recycled composition and strong environmental credentials – the uncollated sets were then delivered to Duplo user and trade finisher, Peterborough-based Print Solutions, for trimming, folding and binding. Thereafter, they were delivered to Munich for distribution at the wide-format, textile and display print market’s largest European show this year, FESPA Digital.

The project is the vision of Met Creative’s managing director James Matthews-Paul, who launched the company in 2010 to rejuvenate publishing by using digital technology. Located at St Bride Foundation since July 2013, flagship title Output aims to serve content to users in the way they wish to consume it. Its analysis demonstrates that shorter, news-style pieces are welcomed online and in the moment, while the globally-respected long-form analysis upon which it has built its reputation is often preferred in print. However, every user is different – and James and his team intend to work with the partners to explore how digital print technology can create a new business model better suited to the demands of modern consumers of publishing.

“We’re excited and delighted to work with James and his fantastic team to take an online publication and create its first print edition,” comments Mark Hinder, [position] at Konica Minolta. “The project highlights the continuing importance that print plays alongside online content in the ever-changing world of communications. I wish James and the Output team all success with this future-thinking work and look forward to working continually alongside them as it progresses.”

“We are too used to hearing the phrase ‘print is dead’,” adds James. “What we mean is that publishing needs revolution: much like music and film, the systems of distribution no longer suit the way we consume. With Konica Minolta, Duplo, Antalis and Print Solutions, I believe we can change that system to suit the needs of users – and I can’t wait to push this project forward to create a leaner, more engaging and better purposed publishing methodology.”

While the first thousand copies were snapped up in Munich, a further thousand has been produced as a version for Konica Minolta’s UK readership. Regular distribution will begin on the bimonthly title from September/October and will exploit the capabilities of digital print further, with full details to be announced nearer the time.