June 5, 2017 Last Updated 9:59 am

Digital magazine ‘Out of Chaos’ in print for Spring 2007 issue

The color management company, and publisher of the digital magazine, Rods and Cones, has partnered with Stampatech and Canon to create a print edition with enhanced editorial content available through a separate reading app

The color management consultancy Rods and Cones in October of 2015 launched their own digital magazine app called Out of Chaos (which TNM wrote about here). That app used the Twixl Publisher platform to create a native digital magazine.

In February of 2016 the publisher updated the app to add iPhone support, and in September of last year the app transitioned to a content-managed app in version 3.0.

I honestly haven’t paid that much attention to updated digital edition apps lately because of the lack of interesting new ones, so I completely forgot that I wrote about the update, which moved the app onto the platform’s new version, Twixl Publisher 5, or tP Twixl.

“We wanted to show how our magazine can be transformed with this new platform,” said Erica Aitken, co-founder of the Santa Cruz-based Rods and Cones. “We will still publish issues on a (more or less) quarterly basis, but the content of all of the issues will also be offered in theme-specific collections. We now also offer a version of each issue that can be read on screen.”

Now the app has been updated again and with it brings the Spring 2007 issue. In the new issue Aitken and co-founder Son Do talk about what makes the new issue different.

“We chose a digital format for Out of Chaos because we could stuff it with more information, movies, interviews, and slide shows; so much added content that it made no sense to print,” the two co-founders wrote in the issue introduction.

“To be truthful, we could have been at great pains to afford printing and that, combined with the richness of digital, is what prompted us to create an app instead. Happily, for printers all over the world, printed magazines did not go away as predicted. But they have declined to the indifference of some but also the great regret of those who love the very satisfying feel of ink on paper.”

(This is where I add that TNM never predicted the end of print, and those that did were and are idiots. But this site has certainly said many times that many print magazines will fail due to the shift in ad dollars to digital, and only those with a dominant position in their fields will continue to be profitable.)

So, this weekend. Aitken reached out again, but this time to talk print as the Spring 2007 issue is now available in print and ink form, but with a twist as the printed pages contain augmented reality, available if the reader downloads an app.

“For the new issue of Out of Chaos, we partnered with Stampatech and Canon to create a printed version with the same rich content,” Aitken wrote me.

“We selected Stampatech as partner to enrich our content. Stampatech is based in the UK. Their AR technology is unusual as is their business model. Stampatech codes practically every pixel of an image and the code is optimized depending on substrate. This results in a quick response to the scan and a virtually un-highjackable content. Their business model is designed to server the printer. Stampatech sells their services to printers at reseller rates in the hope of creating a new channel of opportunity and revenue for the industry.

“The experience is much the same as with all augmented reality. The reader is invited to download a free reader app which, when pointed at an image, will deliver a movie, or website, or an interview, any content accessible online, to the phone or tablet. With the imminent arrival of a standardized AR reader, augmented reality is on the verge of full adoption,” wrote the co-founders.

I don’t have a copy of the print edition but it is available here (and appears to free). The digital edition does reference the enhanced pages (but fails to provide any live links to where you can access it, which is a shame).

The new app. I should add, has many more departments in it than just the digital magazine. In addition to the ability to access complete issues of the digital magazine, the app’s TOC has sections of content readers will find of most interest such as Living with Color and Color & Technology.

Another one of the sections, I really have to add, is called Eye Candy.

So here are some disclaimers:

1) Eye Candy just happens to be the name of the annual journal put out by film students at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 2) My daughter is a film major at UCSC, and happens to work on the journal.

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