Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fathom Journal: New quarterly tablet magazine's simple approach keeps file sizes down, allows for two views

Quite a number of TNM readers are in search of a simple tablet magazine style that will allow for a good reading experience on the tablet, while limiting the need for a lot of flashy animation and other digital publishing gimmicks. Fathom Journal, a new quarterly magazine that has launched inside Apple's Newsstand may provide a good model.

Published by BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre, is design and built by Hype!design, a small graphic design studio from Sydney, Australia is designed by Hype!, a London design studio (see comment correcting attribution). How these two organizations hooked up would be interesting to find out.

The free digital magazine currently has only its inaugural issue to be found inside. Downloading the issue reveals that it is only 20 MB in size, which would lead one to believe the reader will be presented with a standard replica edition in portrait only.

But while the digital magazine is as simple as a replica, it was designed for the platform that the reader will use. By keeping it simple, by not including superfluous animation and other gimmicks, the digital magazine can be contained in such as small file, and still offer the reader native layouts in both portrait and landscape. There is even an embedded video player – though the reader will need an Internet connection to actually stream in the video itself.

BICOM is clearly an advocacy organization, so the editorial content will not appeal to all. But publishers would like to see a simple approach to native tablet magazine design should download Fathom Journal to check out its approach.
Left: Landscape view; Right: the file size is very moderate despite two orientations and embedded video. Click to enlarge screenshots.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing such a praising review of this ap, unfortunately though you've accredited the wrong development studio. The ap was both designed and developed by Hype!, a London based creative agency.