Back before the iPad was revealed, Berg and Bonnier sent us a concept predicting the very same, exploring, in particular, its implications for the digital publishing of periodicals. You can see that video here.
It's interesting to review the reader comments from that post, given what we know now. Michael Janzen commented that, "If the predictions are correct Apple will continue to move into the old-school digital and print world drawing in new customers and inadvertently putting the old-schoolers out of business simply by following a steeper innovation curve." And J.R. points out that "something like this will only succeed with the blessing of strong, strategic partners such as the remaining magazine dynasties and other publishers, a la itunes arrangement with record labels."
Well, it's only been a few months, but the announcement of the iPad gave the Mag+ development team their chance to make this thing real. Though it may not put magazines out of business yet, they've certainly succeeded in teaming up with said strategic partners— the April issue of Popular Science is the first to be digitized for the iPad in this way. Downloadable from, yes, iTunes, the magazine goes live tomorrow, and may be a nice way to immediately test out the iPad's multi-touch chops.
Above, Bonnier demonstrates Popular Science +, including dog-earing and background obfuscation, and discusses the new opportunities for art direction that Mag+ presents.
From the team:
Our design vision has been to avoid what our friends at BERG call "a wrist screen running clock software" - we wanted to build the watch. It should feel like you are touching the actual magazine, using your natural body language - not looking through the screen and layers of buttons.
Magazines are a luxury that readers can lose themselves in. We have built a digital magazine for a device you can curl up with on the coach. It allows readers to lean back, away from the browser, and just focus on the bold images and rich storytelling. We wanted to build a linear story with a beginning and end. Because we believe that reduced
complexity increases your immersion. And that the sense of completion is important.
Lisa is dedicated to promoting the American contemporary design scene. She keeps herself busy as the co-founder of the Object Design League, an association of independent designers in Chicago, and design practice Smith&Linder, both co-founded with Caroline Linder. She also teaches foundation research studios at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.