I’m leading a digital lifestyle. My work-related print magazine subscriptions have all long been cancelled. Therefore I was pretty skeptical when I first read a tweet about a new magazine in print covering digital topics. I still took a peek at their website and I’m glad I did.
The first thing that caught my eye was the name. Offscreen. It seemed to imply that using ink and paper was not something a stick-in-the-mud publisher insisted on but was a very deliberate decision; a core part of the concept. The clean and beautiful design of the website further suggested that the creators themselves place great value on form and function of things. Both assumptions turned out to be very true but what really sparked my interest then, was, that Offscreen apparently wasn’t about technical how-tos, trends or techniques but about the
“human side of websites and apps”. Curious, I ordered the first issue and was hooked from the moment I took it out of its envelope.
“Offscreen is a new periodical with an in-depth look at the life and work of digital creators — captured in enduring print.”
The look, feel and even smell of it is just beautiful. And it holds its promise: Over a hundred pages are offering a pleasant glimpse into the lives of
“the people behind bits and pixels.” You get to know them a bit, learn about their very different backgrounds, careers, philosophies and even daily routines. Instead of narcissistic ego trips, you’ll find essays, stories and interviews about passion, creativity and success, or better, different definitions of success. All on visually stunning pages.
But why use paper at all? Print is a single-purpose, distraction-free and offline medium. When done right, these features can work as an advantage. And in the case of Offscreen, they do. You don’t need any devices you’d normally use for work to read it and flicking through pages is, at least to me, a welcome change to the digital world. While Offscreen won’t herald a renaissance of print media as such, it definitely serves as a showcase for how a print periodical should be made in times of fast moving bits and pixels.
I found Offscreen to be very inspiring and recommend it wholeheartedly. I am very much looking forward to the next issue.