With almost every design, culinary art and way of life going slightly Scandinavian these days, there is more and more demand for an international media that could show us the way out of IKEA and into Scandinavian culture. Denmark’s Oak magazine is that media.
Interview with founder and art editor, Laura Terp Hansen.
Baron: What’s the story behind Oak - The Nordic Journal?
Laura Terp Hansen: Oak - The Nordic Journal was founded by PR agent Anne Riis and me. Together with our editor Marie Graunbøl we gathered a team of talented freelancers - writers, photographers, stylists and illustrators. We were missing a magazine that focused on Nordic culture - Scandinavia is one of the coolest places on Earth right now and a lot of things are happening here. There is an interest in our design, food culture and lifestyle and we wanted to share it all with the rest of the world.
Furthermore, we feel there is a need for more variety in the magazine market, where all publications resemble each other and deal with the same stereotypes. We want to explore the diverse culture of Scandinavia and show that the Nordic touch is much more than grey skies and a melancholic mood.
B.: How does that translate to an editorial policy?
L.T.H.: We want to show what we are really good at in Scandinavia and we’d like to celebrate some of the values that we hold dear. That’s why stories about craftsmanship, food and community are key to the magazine. Oak - The Nordic Journal is also a magazine that’s not afraid to take up your time. We are confident that our readers can handle articles of more than 10 000 characters, and that they’re willing to invest their time in a reading experience that is both entertaining, thought provoking and visually stimulating.
B.: Why choose print? What kind of paper do you use and why?
L.T.H.: We are big fans of print magazines! You cannot beat the feeling you get while holding and flicking through a magazine. We have chosen a very good quality of paper to give the reader a tactile experience when reading Oak. For us, print is so much alive and gives you a great reading experience. But we are launching an iPad version very soon so Oak will be on this platform as well. The typography for Oak is done by Henrik Kubel/A2- type (http://www.a2-type.co.uk/) and it is called Oak. We are big fans of the studio’s work and we really love what they have come up with for Oak.
B.: How’s the public’s response?
L.T.H.: The magazine has been very well received. The public response has been great. We are distributing the magazine worldwide and we feel there is a big interest towards the Scandinavian lifestyle and its people.
B.: Good print mags get a lot of love, but this isn’t always reflected in sales or advertising. How are your sales doing? What is your advertising philosophy?
L.T.H.: We believe that the idea of selling an ad in a printed magazine is outdated. Instead, we are working together with different companies, who fit with Oak’s identity, on different platforms like our iPad version and our events. We recently hosted a lunch with Danish design and branding agency, Menu.
B.: Any upcoming projects?
L.T.H.: We’ll be launching our iPad edition very soon and we are also working on volume two, coming out in August.