September 3, 2013 Last Updated 2:11 pm

Feast – A Dinner Journal, an attractive digital magazine, even in a replica

There are few magazines that feature their photography that look good as a replica edition app. The reason is that art directors are forced to account for the printed page and often force multiple images onto one page. There there are the two-page spreads that look pretty good in print, if you can ignore the gutter, but look awful on a tablet because the two pages are spread across two separate tablet pages (or in landscape are reduced down in size to make them less than impressive.

Feast-iPad-1-lgBut there are exceptions to every rule and the newly released food magazine app from Ross Golden-Bannon may be one of them.

Feast – A Dinner Journal is a replica edition app build by Jemstone Digital Publishing. The app is simple, almost comically so. There is no library page, no subscribe button (though a subscribe message does pop up if you tap the cover image). This is the ultimate PDF driven replica. The editorial pages are crisp, though without my reading glasses I wouldn’t have stood a chance.

But the reason this replica may not offend digital readers is that the Irish food magazine is driven by the photography of Donal Skehan and so the print magazine often devotes the entire page to the photography.

Often with magazines that features lots of excellent photography a problem arises with landscape shots. Feast fixes that right there in print by making sure the shots are mostly portrait. But there are plenty examples of shots in landscape here, too. That is where one really notices that this is a replica as the shots can not rotate to be seen fullscreen.

Feast-iPad-2-lgRoss Golden-Bannon is the editor of Feast. He has an interesting background, having worked for New Labour as Parliamentary Secretary before founding a PR firm, then becoming and editor and restaurant critic at The Sunday Business Post. Earlier this year be founded The Guerrilla Gourmet Club. a pop-up restaurant.

Feast was founded this summer and two issues have been produced. The Newsstand app makes them available to both iPhone and iPad users at $3.99 (€3.69) per issue, with a subscription priced at $11.99 (€10.99) per year (four issues).

If iBooks Author could be used to produce a Newsstand app I think this would be one of those that the solution would be perfectly suited for. The page design could be simple, to concentrate on the photography, but the text size would be specifically chosen for the tablet or mobile platform.

The problems of the current digital publishing choice becomes terribly obvious when seen on the iPhone. It just doesn’t work, and it is there that even the photographer would have to admit that the digital edition does his work no justice.

Comments are closed.