Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Odd Magazine gets transformed from a 138 page print magazine into a brilliant 300 page+ tablet edition

An annual product of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI), Odd Magazine has been a print magazine for seven editions. But now the magazine has been transformed into a tour-de-force iPad app, with 12 video, multiple animations -- and, I might add, weighing at a record weight of 990MB.
Each year the 30 students at AMFI, as part of the Fashion Magazine Minor, produce a new edition of their annual magazine under the editorial leadership of Frank Jurgen Wijlens. The latest print edition, which was published in June of last year, is currently available on Amazon.com.

Product Description - Amazon.com: "Completely conceptualized and realized by a group of 30 students of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Odd magazine explores six connections between seven people in the creative industry. Inspired by their personal stories and fashion visions, the magazine reveals an unexpectedly beautiful world of fashion, photography and illustration that is just a little bit odd.
Enter Jelle de Weert, 23, a student at the AMFI (now a graduate), and someone who wisely enrolled in the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite pre-release program. Adding about 100 new pages, shooting video and creating animations, de Weert worked five months to produce an iPad app version of the annual publication.

Odd Magazine – iPad Issue is a massive tablet edition that contains 312 pages in portrait, 338 in landscape, and is priced at $3.99 in the US App Store, 2,99 € in the Dutch store (I miss guilders).
To the great credit of its creator, the app . . . works. That may sound like a strange compliment, but with so much animation and content here, this app's navigation is smooth and flawless. One might expect that a project this large might require an update or two, but this one version should be all that is needed.

The text and much of the photography was taken from the print edition, but one can tell right away that additional creative material was needed to make this tablet edition. Take, for instance, the animated page with the 30 students: the page is made up of four or five photos per student. I almost made the mistake of trying to create a GIF of the page but gave up pretty quickly, realizing that it would take a day to compile such a graphic. No wonder it took five months to make this app.

"I made this iPad magazine for my portfolio," de Weert said, "and I would love to make more iPad magazines with more technical stuff and 3D but I would have to wait and see what comes to my path..."

Jelle de Weert, developer of the iPad version of Odd Magazine.

An app like this might easily be dismissed as not relevant to the monthly grind of magazine publishing, but as I've written before, apps such as for Odd Magazine are the places new ideas and themes. The world of tablet publishing can either become merely a cheap way to produce non-ink versions of print editions, or it can emerge as its own medium (it will probably become both things).

But as anyone who has priced out the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite has discovered, moving into native tablet design can be an expensive investment.

"You need to make an investment at first but costs for printing and distributing a magazine are way higher," de Weert told me in an IM interview. "But the most important thing is that the iPad version of the magazine should offer something that is not possible in the printed version (like the videos) or not even possible on the computer (like the 3D models you can spin around with your finger)."

With all the video and animation contained in this iPad app, it is pretty difficult to get a feel for the app with just screenshots. But the magazine has its own YouTube channel, as well as a support website at the delightful URL of thisisodd.com. So I have embedded two videos here, one that appears in the app itself, and the promotional video which will give you a good sense of the app itself.

If you are in the publishing business this would be a good app to house on your iPad to show off the potential of the tablet platform. Now it is off to iTunes for me to write the first review in the US App Store if only to encourage buyers to spend the four bucks necessary to download Odd Magazine.

Here is the promo video:


Tablazines said...

Man how much room do you have on your iPad? Lol.

I'm not just referring to this magazine... but to all of the ones you feature on your site.

Unknown said...

I bought the 2TB iPad model, cost a bit more, but it's proving worth it. ;)