Montréal agency publishes tablet travel magazine: NOW Morocco
The French language agency has created the magazine in English, which makes the digital magazine feel a little odd. For instance, the editor’s column ends “Bienvenue!” (Though it also ends “Marhaba!”)
The tablet magazine is designed in landscape, which is what drew my attention. When creating a tablet-only magazine one of the decisions to be made is whether to mimic print and design in portrait, or else use landscape, either because photography generally is shot in landscape, or else to make the magazine feel more native. TRVL, the travel photography magazine from the Dutch team that now also has developed the Prss platform, is designed for landscape reading.
(For our own Tablet Publishing app I left the decision of orientation to Konstantinos, who not surprisingly chose landscape.)
It should be noted that TRVL uses a portrait icon rather than landscape. I think this is the way to go as it is a way of differentiating magazine apps inside the Newsstand, which generally have portrait icons, with newspaper apps, which always have landscape icons. But many publishers, as is the case with NOW Morocco, often use their landscape magazine covers as the icon.
As the digital magazine comes from an agency, I assumed the magazine would be free of charge to download. That is not the case, however. Issues are $2.99, with a subscription priced at $12.99 (11.99€).
As I mentioned, there are some issues that arise from the fact that the magazine is in English.
“NOW Morocco is the first-ever exclusively digital magazine and city guide, brimming with multimedia and interactive features. Our well-informed, perceptive takes keep you in mind, so we can bring you compelling stories to help kick off or extend your visit to Morocco,” writes Marie-Christine Copti, serves as the editor.
Her partner at the agency is Mehdi Benembarek.
The pages designs are attractive, and good use of interactive features are incorporated into the story layouts. There is a problem, though, with the style of the paragraphs – sometimes there is leading between the paragraphs, sometimes there is not. Because no paragraph indentions are used it gets a little confusing, and looks odd on the page.
The content is certainly of interest. Whether there is a tie-in between the subjects and the publisher is hard to tell. For instance, there is a one page feature one Le Creuset tajines which may, or may not, be sponsored content (I cook Moroccan and use a cooking tajine from Emile Henry myself, but to each his own).
NOW Morocco joins a category filled with interesting tablet magazines. In addition to TRVL there is, of course, National Geographic, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler and others that are either hybrid editions (meaning the ads are as they are seen in print, while the editorial is reformatted) or else completely native.