Monocle Magazine, “it can’t be found anywhere else”

- - Magazines

Excellent interview with the former founding Art Director of Monocle, Ken Leung over on Cultures In Between. Here’s an excerpt:

What has been Monocle’s distinguishable strengths and differentiated qualities from other titles? Does this also reflect the magazine’s resilience in the print industry?

I think Monocle stands out because it works harder than anyone else. Our stories and artwork are all mostly commissioned meaning it can’t be found anywhere else and that we have complete control over the visual style. We go to places nowhere else has covered and unearth new talents that no one else has discovered.
To me, Monocle’s “resilience” is unsurprising because people are always prepared to buy into a quality product.

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There Are 22 Comments On This Article.

  1. “and unearth new talents that no one else has discovered (will work for free).”

      • @Jeff McLane,

        How nice is nicely? There are a ton of photos in each issue (a very good thing) therefore paying for each one seems completely unrealistic.

        • Jeff McLane

          @Cletus, I was given a 4 page business story, 3 days at my usual editorial day rate.

          • @Jeff McLane,

            what’s your usual rate? if you shoot for NYT then your rate is $200/day no expenes…..if you shoot for Woman’s Day your rate is $950 plus expenses(a lot of expenses).

            • Jeff McLane

              @knowitall, all expenses were paid (there was alot of travel, hotels, etc) and $200 seems more like an assistant rate in my experience. it was much more.

    • @Cletus, I’ve worked for them 3 times in the last 12 months, they have one of the best editorial rates in the business, art directors and editors are professional people, love working for them!

      • @Callaham,

        I don’t know about one of the best rates….maybe if they tacked on expenses to that rate it might be comparable but, i just shot a two day job for them and I made about 40% of what I would typically make from an editorial shoot of that size. monocle ain’t a moneymaker….not if you’re shooting film which they do prefer.

        The story was good though.

        • @knowitall,

          WELL I have to say that my experience with monocle was pretty good, I did 2 national assignments and one international. all expenses paid for beforehand (except meals). I do not know about film, I used digital. but hey this was last year, I dont know how well they are doing starting 2010.

    • @Cletus, I’ve also shot for Monocle several times and they always have great communication (locally & internationally) and pay right on time for everything. Always happy to shoot for them.

  2. I used to subscribe to Monocle. I generally like it, and overall they certainly put together a nicer than average product design-wise and content-wise. But I have to say, to nitpick, the photo usage is often not particularly stellar. Considering the ‘control’ he talked about.

  3. I just don’t understand why most people are so eager to see digital publication replace print rather than look at it as an additional media to the publication industry. ” A decorated donkey is still a donkey (censored)”, in other words whatever crap journalism found it’s way in print will still be crap on iPad or any other digital media.

  4. I wonder if this is the the new media is supposed to look and feel like?

    I stopped by the website and found the design and readability comfortable. I haven’t held the print version in my hand but it looks to be just as appealing as the website.

    Which takes me back to my question, are outher media outlets going to follow suit? or will they flounder along?

  5. I read almost every issue of Monocle. It is definitely an interesting magazine but not always easy to read (the layout is rather old school: very busy).

    Their series on Brasilia was great, though! I am glad to learn that they do commission almost all of their pictures.

  6. I read almost every issue of Monocle. It is definitely an interesting magazine but not always easy to read (the layout is rather old school: very busy).

    Their series on Brasilia was great, though! I am glad to learn that they do commission almost all of their pictures.