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25 . 05 . 18

Starting a print media revolution: Kodachrome mag (read by 'The Dude' himself)

Words by: Print Power
If there were a manifesto for an analogue revolution, this would be it. Josh Coon, the editor in chief of Kodachrome and Kodak’s head of content, explains why print media is making a comeback.
kodachrome print media.jpg

The power of print at a glance

  • Consumers are rediscovering the lean back nature of print media in a digitally saturated marketplace.
  • Print, like so many analogue technologies, is making a comeback, and fast becoming an in-demand premium production method.
  • A branded print product, even if not explicitly about the brand, can curry favour among consumers.

Before we dive into our new print case study, a clarification: Kodachrome is Netflix’s latest drama about a dying father, his son, and the father’s nurse as they take a road trip from New York to Kansas to develop the father’s last rolls of Kodachrome – one of the first types of colour film – before the country’s final lab closes.

But we’re not interested in that homage to analogue history… even if it does star Ed Harris in his best role since The Rock*. We’re far more taken with Kodak’s stylish brand magazine of the same name – that celebrates “the beauty and honesty of analogue technology”.

The ridiculously interesting title has, in fact, become something of a cult purchase – its first issue sold out twice (once in just 48 hours) and even 'The Dude' himself, Jeff 'The Big Lebowski' Bridges, is a reader, we believe.

Which is hardly surprising when, according to Kodak’s content director and the editor of Kodachrome, Joshua Coon, the mag is all about slowing down – something the president of INNOVATION Media Consulting, Juan Senõr, calls the “lean back” experience.

Check out our chat with Coon below…

kodachrome print media 3.jpeg

According to Kodak’s Josh Coon:

“After each wave of technological innovation, there is a re-evaluation of the media, art and craft that came before it. We saw it post-industrial revolution and we’re seeing it again with this digital revolution.

“Take vinyl records, which have witnessed an incredible resurgence and are now a booming industry. Go into any record store and you’ll see folks who are variously 60 and 20 years old.

“But it’s not nostalgia driving this trend. There’s this cultural exploration at play, where many of us are looking for deeper, more meaningful experiences.

“Substantial in its content, production and design, we want Kodachrome – a magazine that celebrates art, film and analogue culture – to live on people’s shelves for years to come.

“From the feel of the paper to the cool design, we’ve made this magazine using our own commercial printing technology to remind everyone why print is so special.

“We are a print company, and this is a way to not just tell the world we believe in the power of print, but to show it.

“In some ways, digital technology has become so ubiquitous that it’s more about convenience than craft. And people are looking to analogue to rediscover the craft of making things again.

“It’s not to say that digital is bad – or that people are moving away from it. It’s just that they’re making room in their lives for the convenience and access that digital technology provides, while slowing down for the experiences that only analogue can create. It’s the difference between 15,000 photos on your iPhone and 36 carefully crafted exposures.

“Print, like so many analogue technologies, is making a comeback, going through its own evolution and changing to accommodate the digital disruption. It’s not going anywhere. If anything, it’s becoming an in-demand luxury or premium production method.

“Artists want a printed book of their work, people are producing their own zines, comics, newspapers and other assorted small projects – often using platforms like Kickstarter to reach and build their own audiences. There are so many wonderful examples of print finding a new footing and a new audience.

Kodachrome print media 2.jpg

“Through Kodachrome we’re able to talk with and tell the stories of the amazing people creating with Kodak products – and the culture celebrating analogue.

“It has really allowed us to make a deeper connection with the artists using our products and create a media platform and property that is produced by Kodak, even if it isn’t directly about Kodak.

“Alongside our weekly podcast, The Kodakery, the mag is now an important linchpin in Kodak’s content marketing strategy. It certainly helps build the brand and gives us a vehicle to showcase our print technology. But it has also become an important consumer product.

“Issue one sold out twice in the US, and we’ve had strong and steady sales on issues two and three. With the release of issue three we expanded online sales to 18 countries, and with issue four we’re about to begin selling limited ad space to other brands for our first ever photography annual.”

You can buy Kodachrome magazine here.

*Personal opinion. We also think Conair is the best movie ever made.

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