November 26, 2014 Last Updated 10:41 am

Hospitality company Oakwood Asia Pacific launches digital magazine, Global Insider

Magazine may have been designed for print first, then launched as a digital magazine, with fonts and layouts too small to work on digital devices

The hospitality company Oakwood Asia Pacific has launched a new digital magazine into the Apple Newsstand called Global Insider. The magazine was launched under the developer account of its creator, Mighty Media Group Pty Ltd. Oakwood is a provider of corporate housing and serviced apartment solutions.

GlobalInsider-articleThe assumption one has, when opening the navigating the digital magazine, is that this was meant to be a print magazine, but somehow ended up digital. The layouts and overall design are very nice and perfect for print, though maybe a bit short of pages (25 total) to justify a print run.

The Apple Newsstand uses the MagCast platform to create its Newsstand app and digital issue inside. The overall look is that of a replica, though there is embedded video to be found.

Unfortunately, designing for print, then reducing down the pages for an iPad (and iPhone!) just doesn’t work. All that effort to create great looking pages, appropriate fonts, and the like is ruined when a PDF is then produced and reduced down in size.

Many of those who use MagCast create PDFs that are the right specs for the iPad. The results vary depending on the talents of the designer, but at least the end products can be read, even if the page designs are sometimes crude.

GlobalInsider-article2Here, the agency that produced the magazine got all the design right, for print, then went digital.

Replica or native, the first job of any magazine designer to produce a page that can be read by the reader. It is amazing to me how many publishers believe this rule does not apply to digital, but I have to guess it is one of the biggest reasons many tablet owners eschew digital publications inside the Apple Newsstand and other digital newsstands (especially those that only sell replica editions).

The MagCast app itself is fine and easy to use and navigate. I would have preferred a separate app for the iPhone so as to not have to deal with pages reduced down in size even further, however. If a digital magazine is designed for the iPad, it would be simple enough to design one for the iPhone, create the PDF and launch the app separately. I would think that a simplified approach to the design would be the way to go.

Now the app has been launched, some design tweaks should fix things. The app and its digital magazine are free to download and access, so readers shouldn’t be too upset that they find this first issue hard to read, and the cover is certainly an attention grabber!

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