December 10, 2014 Last Updated 11:56 am

First look: aw! mag., a weekly digital-only news magazine on the French art market

The new digital magazine uses the Twixl digital publishing platform to create its Apple Newsstand app

The French art market has its own weekly, digital-only news magazine thanks to the launch of aw! mag. The Apple Newsstand app was built using Twixl Publisher (and if I’m not mistaken, this is the first app I’ve written about that is using the platform).

aw-cover-iPadTwixl Publisher is an InDesign plug-in solution and app builder, and is capable of building publication apps for iOS, Android and Kindle. (For more information, Txixl Publisher is Section 62 in the Guide to Digital Publishing Platforms).

The new digital magazine was launched by Pierre Naquin and Clément Thibault under the A&F Markets developer account. A&F Markets is a Paris-based art investment company, founded by Naquin in 2011. Thibault serves as the magazine’s editor.

The new digital magazine is intriguing as it feels like a cross between other digital magazines that use Adobe or Mag+ to build their issues, and those that use platforms like TypeEngine. The layouts are built in single columns, yet feature much more design elements than single column layouts often do. In other words, here is a digital magazine that has the professional look of a print magazine converted into a digital edition, while keeping the layouts simple like those magazines created by journalists who are trying to minimize the amount of design work.

I particularly like the way captions on artwork are displayed. The reader taps the graphic and the caption is then revealed on top of the graphic. Another tap hides it again.

aw-cover-iPad2Single issues of the weekly magazine are priced at 2,99 €, with monthly subscriptions priced at 9,99 € and annual subscriptions at 49,99 € (U.S. prices are actually a bit lower, a single issue is priced at $1.99).

The magazine is in French, of course, and since the text can not be copied into another window, translating the text is not possible (I’m still waiting for iOS or Android to begin incorporating translation services).

If you are interested in exploring what another digital publishing platform can produce, it would be well worth checking out this new digital magazine. Twixl’s pricing is along the lines of other InDesign plug-in platforms, with their single app solution priced at € 750, and the one-app multi-issue solution at € 3,000.

At the very least, publishers and designers might get some new ideas concerning how they want a new digital-only magazine to look. This design, though iPad-only here, might work on a larger smartphone, as well.

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