April 20, 2015 Last Updated 11:37 am

New digital magazines in Arts & Photography: [RE]TOUCHED Magazine and Accents

Both new digital-only magazines are native in design, one using the Mag+ digital publishing platform, the other using Napoleon IT, which originates from Russia

There is no doubt that the Arts & Photography category is one of my favorites inside the Apple Newsstand. It is where there used to be a greater chance than any other that a new app would feature a well-designed, native digital magazine.

RetouchMag-coverTimes have certainly changed, though. Of the last ten digital magazines launched into the category, eight are replica editions, most appearing under the Magzter developer account.

But two new apps are certainly worth exploring by dedicated digital publishers. [RE]TOUCHED Magazine appears under the personal developer account of Julia Kuzmenko McKim (appearing in the App Store as Yulia McKim).

“[RE]TOUCHED is a bi-monthly interactive publication designed to give photographers and retouchers the tools, techniques, and insights they need to hone their retouching skills and excel in their businesses,” the app description states. “Packed with illustrated tutorials and business advice from top retouching professionals, product reviews, and timely industry commentary, [RE]TOUCHED Magazine engages artists of all skill levels.”

Published by those with graphics talent, one would expect a well-designed, native digital magazine – and this is precisely what one gets. [RE]TOUCHED uses the Mag+ digital publishing platform to deliver a digital-only magazine that is to be read in portrait (many digital only magazines tied to photography have chosen the landscape orientation).

RetouchMag-TOCSubscriptions are available at $5.99 ever two months (1 issue), or $14.99 for six months (3 issues). It’s a bit pricey, but the publishers needs to make their money back, of course. Also, the first issue will download for free (another reason to check it out).

The opening Letter from the Editor, written by Philip Sydow, looks like it is missing the background (or it is a design decision, don’t ask me which) and immediately tells you the digital magazine will be native, as the fonts are comfortably set, and the page scrolls down to reveal the full story. There is lots of nice layering in the editorial.

Of course, the real attraction of the new digital magazine will be the tutorials and the photography found inside – in this regard, the first issue does not disappoint. The premiere issue was a bit of a slow download, though the resulting digital file was a rather modest 368 MB in size.

The reason for launching the new digital magazine is likely to compliment the parent business, the Retouching Academy, as well as Retouching eBooks.

Акценты (Accents) is a new Russian language digital magazine appearing under the account of Evgeniy Cherkasov.


Click/tap to play

The Newsstand app uses the Napoleon IT digital publishing platform. (More information on both Mag+ and Napoleon IT can be found inside TNM’s Guide to Digital Publishing Platforms, which features plenty of interactive material from both companies.)

The app offers a free “lite” version of the premiere magazine inside, as well as the full edition (which only costs $0.99). The “lite” version services as the issue preview and gives the reader about 29 MB of material, versus about 167 MB for the full issue.

The app has a funny glitch as when tapping the “Buy” button the dialogue box comes up sideways – no big deal, really. Again, the download was a little slow, actually very slow. (Slow enough that this post appeared well after I intended to post it.)

There are some interesting uses of English that are amusing – for instance, the editor’s note says one should “swype” (really it should be scroll, but we get what they are saying).

The layouts, graphics and animations here are interesting and fun, as are the layout designs. While so many digital-only magazines are put together by writers without any design aspirations at all, those that appear in the Arts & Photography category often give the reader much more. These are the digital editions we need to show off to print art directors so as to get them excited about the possibilities of the platform.

Comments are closed.