Summer 2018 Takeaways

Honoring Highlights

A new documentary, “44 Pages,” tells the story of Highlights, the beloved monthly kids’ magazine and staple of pediatricians’ offices everywhere. The film, whose title refers to the magazine’s steady page count, follows the creation of its 70th anniversary issue published in June 2016. Through this lens, viewers meet the dedicated staff and get a sense of the challenges the title has faced, from declining print sales to the increasing role of technology in the lives of its young readers. Despite these and other factors, the family-owned title has continued to publish without the assistance of ad revenue and has sold over one billion print copies since its first issue. See what’s ahead for the title as it strives to remain relevant. Available to rent (from $3.99) or buy (from $9.99) on multiple video platforms.

Branding Must-Do’s

A required read for brand owners, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand,” is a marketing classic that distills critical branding decisions down to clear, actionable steps. With expert insight, content strategist Al Ries and his daughter Laura dissect a series of successful and not-so-successful branding efforts by well-known companies. Using these examples as effective illustration, the authors provide guiding rules for effective brand management, including, for example, The Law of Expansion, The Law of Contraction, The Law of Consistency, and The Law of Mortality.

Podcasts in Print

This spring, the Paper and Packaging Board released Pod Papers Magazine as part of its “Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds” campaign. The limited-edition print publication features transcriptions of popular podcasts paired with custom illustrations and Layar-enabled content. As part of the campaign, which seeks to help stem the decline of paper use, the group sought to connect analog and digital media in a way that hadn’t been done before. “To celebrate the creative impact of analog, we decided to do something a little crazy: take something inherently digital, like a podcast, and turn it into something beautiful, and more permanent, you can hold in your hands.”

The magazine features content from eight popular podcasts, including “99% Invisible,” “Grammar Girl,” and “Dear Sugars.” With high production values, including quality paper and a soft touch cover coating, the magazine is intended to persist as a keepsake. Complimentary copies are available exclusively at Barnes & Noble stores in the U.S. while supplies last, or request via

Talking Design

Tune into “Design Matters,” the first and longest running podcast about design. Since 2005, host Debbie Millman has interviewed nearly 300 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Milton Glaser, Malcolm Gladwell, and Seth Godin. Listen three ways: Browse the website (, subscribe on iTunes, or listen on SoundCloud (

“And remember, we can talk about making a difference, we can make a difference, or we can do both.”Debbie Millman

Always Wanted Your Own Indie Mag?

If you’re a true magophile (and we know you are), you may have an idea or two for an independent magazine you’ve always wanted to create. Take your inspiration a step further with this book. Written by Irish writer and publisher Conor Purcell, “The Magazine Blueprint” is a comprehensive how-to guide for indie magazine making. In addition to sage advice, it features interviews with publishers, editors, designers, and retailers from around the world — including (from the U.S.) New York magazine’s Adam Moss, The New York Times Magazine’s Gail Bichler, Vanity Fair’s Chris Dixon, and Esquire’s George Lois. Time to turn the dream into reality?


Instagram is visual and ephemeral, and that’s all great — but, as publishers, you want to lead people from these visual teasers to your written content, right? That’s where Instagram’s treatment of links poses a constraint. The single available link, located on your profile (aka bio) page, not only puts a step between your content and link, but it limits you to providing just one URL at a time. Enter Link In Profile. While this SAS application can’t remove the extra step, it can make your link more productive and better aligned with your content. Using Link In Profile, you can create a single webpage that displays multiple current stories. The tool’s intuitive interface enables you to select the Insta posts to be listed on your page and enhance each with a title, description, and destination URL (the app pulls in the associated image). Post the resulting page URL to your profile and direct users to it from your posts. $9.99 per month or $99 per year; 30-day free trial.

Simple Circulation Management … Wait, Whaat?

Circulation management has been anything but simple, but a new product may change that. SimpleCirc is streamlined subscription management software designed by publishers for publishers. Features include online ordering, auto renewals, back issue sales, digital content access management, USPS address validation, ACS file import, and easy data exporting. Use for paid or controlled subscriptions. No training is necessary; data conversion is, well, simple. Manage up to 10,000 subscribers for $100 per month.