December 14, 2015 Last Updated 3:53 pm

Preview: Santa Monica agency SGL Mediacast launches own digital magazine: Telescope

Built using the Mag+ digital publishing platform, the new digital magazine for the iPad and Android tablets will concentrate on one important story or subject per issue, giving ‘readers a taste of the world behind the story’

The Santa Monica-based communications agency SGL Mediacast will officially be launching the first issue its new digital magazine Telescope tomorrow. But the publishers have been given TNM a ‘heads-up’ as the app is already live in both the Apple App Store and inside Google Play.

Telescope-cover-580The new digital magazine is designed for tablet reading, though it is designed in portrait, like a standard print magazine.

“With each issue, Telescope focuses on one inspiring story and provides additional content and articles built uniquely around learning more about the world of the featured inspiring person from all different angles and perspectives. The result is an entirely new experience in storytelling,” the app description states.

The publisher of Telescope, SGL Mediacast, provides its client with digital publishing solutions, but this is the first app to be appear under their own developer account.

“Telescope Mag is the first project the agency has taken with creating and marketing their own content,” Becca Bennett, the magazine’s editor, and the agency’s communications director, told TNM. “For now the magazine is a calling card to develop new content and is especially interested in app-based interactive experiences.”

“The motivation behind launching Telescope Mag specifically is really to create content that encourages people that their dreams are valuable and that they are capable,” Bennett said. ” Our motto is to “never underestimate the human spirit.”

Telescope-welcome“The heart of Telescope are stories about perseverance and achieving or overcoming what may seem impossible or out of reach,” Bennett said. “With the magazine, we want to create an immersive storytelling experience, where readers can connect with a story in a more intimate way than what print allows by using the multimedia potential of an app-based platform. And then we also want to give readers a taste of the world behind the story. This is our unique twist on traditional storytelling… we want to show our readers a new perspective of the world through the lens of the featured person. It’s all to inspire readers in their own paths and we think sharing someone’s story of perseverance – and what they are passion about – can be powerful.”

The app and its digital magazine was built using the Mag+ digital publishing platform, now rebranded as Mag+ Designd, though Telescope obviously benefits from the agency having its own talented design team. “We have a really excellent team of in-house designers that create original animations and illustrations etc. which also helps to maximize a customized experience,” Bennett said.

The first issue weighs in a 499 MB, about what you would expect once you open the issue up and begin to see the animation, video and audio used. Editorially, the first issue features Michaela DePrince, who grew up as an orphan in Sierra Leone, before being adopted by Elaine and Charles DePrince, a couple from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Articles not only talk about DePrince, but about the civil war in Sierra Leone, as well as features on ballet, The Bolshoi in Moscow, etc. Being the holiday season, there is a rather cool animation of a ballerina in a snow globe which the reader can shake to begin the snow falling and music playing.

Telescope-animationThe first issue also ends with a section that describes the mission of the new magazine and provides a staff box full of credits, something far too many new digital magazines forget to include.

This beautifully created new digital magazine should provide the agency with an excellent example of what the firm can create for its potential clients.

But it should also will provide other digital magazine designers a wealth of ideas and inspiration for them to use when designing their own new magazines. And though Mag+ is moving more towards attracting corporate clients, Telescope shows what the platform is capable of producing when used by a group of talented designers and editors.

SGL Mediacast has passed along its promotional video for the first issue:

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