January 21, 2015 Last Updated 9:13 pm

New B2B digital magazines: Lights from Corporate Magic and CORPUS from BASF Corporation

Both newly released Apple Newsstand apps use the Mag+ digital publishing platform to create very readable, well-designed, native digital magazines for corporate brands

This website has written many times that the B2B publishing industry has lagged behind the consumer side when it comes to producing interesting new digital magazines. The happy consequence of this, however, is that now we can as the industry catches up there are more great digital magazine being released into the digital newsstands to look at.

Lights-cover-tocCorporate Magic, Inc., the Dallas-based events production company, has launched its own digital magazine called Lights using the Mag+ digital publishing platform to create a universal app.

Released under the developer account name of Corporate Magic, the magazine says it is published by Tamarack Publishing, though the same people are the leaders of both companies. Jim Kirk, president of Corporate Magic, is credited with being the publisher, while Jeffrey Kirk, COO of Corporate Magic, is credited with being the editor of Lights. The director of design for the new digital magazine is Troy Myatt.

“Welcome to the inaugural issue of Lights, the magazine for the events production industry,” writes the editor in the opening column. “Through this publication, we hope to shine a spotlight on this growing industry: the big ideas that drive groundbreaking events, the advanced technologies that produce astounding effects and the hard-working people who bring it all together.”

Lights-iPad-articleThis is a very well-designed digital magazine, one that takes advantage of many of the features its digital publishing platform can offer. The magazine utilizes the now standard navigation of scrolling within articles, then swiping to go to the next article. This, seemingly minor navigation trait, is often what the reader first notices when comparing native digital editions with print replicas. Those publishing platforms that are PDF based, are forced to replicate the page by page navigation seen in print – and so, even if the new digital magazine does not come from a print magazine, still looks as if it does. That is not the case with Lights.

The cover for the premiere issue is a good example of rethinking the magazine format. It features a very simple technique of using layers to create a bit of an effect, then scrolling down to a second page reveals the table of contents.

The publisher intends to publisher their new digital magazine quarterly, and because it is tied to the parent company’s marketing, is being offered to readers for free (making it an excellent example for other publishers contemplating using the Mag+ platform).

Corpus-cover-760Another newly released B2B magazine comes from BASF Corporation and is called CORPUS Magazine – Construction Tomorrow. It, too, uses the Mag+ digital publishing platform.

Unlike Lights, CORPUS Magazine is for the iPad only. But its twist is that the Newsstand app contains both German and English editions of the magazine.

“CORPUS is a new customer magazine aimed as much at decision makers in the construction industry as at architects, structural engineers, urban planners and product designers,” the app description states. “Its focus is on the review and analysis of current issues in the fields of urbanization, architecture, infrastructure and sustainability – all of which have a major effect on how we will live in the future, worldwide.”

Though the app appears under the BASF developer account name, the new digital magazine was created by Astronaut Magazine, a Berlin studio, along with UMPR, the Hamburg public relations firm.

Corpus-articleThe digital edition is very different from Lights in that the navigation is very much like an eBook, with each page designed to iPad page specs so that the reader swipes to get to the next page. Some pages, though, contain scrolling text boxes, which allow for more text to appear on a page than otherwise would be possible.

As this is a customer magazine, the app and its digital editions are free to download and access. Like Lights, the publishing schedule for CORPUS Magazine is quarterly.

What both magazines have in common is that they are being produced for business brands by new digital publishing companies or studios, not by established B2B publishers. This pattern was seen in the late nineties when print trade magazine publishers were slow to begin creating their own websites, allowing new, digital companies to arise to offer web services for brands, Traditional B2B publishers lost a huge opportunity to lead that digital revolution, just as they are losing a huge opportunity to lead this digital revolution.

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