With two years of experience and six printed issues, Madrid ROOM Diseño, a design + architecture + contemporary art magazine, takes a step forward and brings us ROOM Design Magazine, a digital media with original and interactive content for iPad (Android coming soon). Interview with editor Emerio Arena.
Baron: ROOM Diseño bio…
Emerio Arena: After two years of ROOM Diseño in paper, we realized that the audiovisual and interactive possibilities of the tablet might enrich the experience of the reader of this kind of contents. The idea has been to optimize the tablet’s technological possibilities to propose the reader a tactile, contemporary and hypermedia way of accessing the information. In this case, information related to design at all scales. The tablet edition is called ROOM Design Magazine, it’s bilingual English – Spanish, and this first issue is free.
B.: How does that translate to an editorial policy?
E.A.: ROOM Diseño is a reference publication concerned about innovation and aimed at contemporary creation. Architecture, interior design, art, industrial design or visual communication have their place in a magazine that serves as a forum for bringing together people who design, people who produce and people who consume. Conscious that nature is in a delicate balance, in ROOM Design we give visibility to works respecting the environment. Proposals for an environmental sense looking for a harmony between being and sustainability, involving the transition to a new model of consumption. An Eco sensible model committed to the planet’s limited resources. That is, committed to the fragility of life.“You can’t be modern if you are not concerned about environment” - Charles Eames.
B.: Why choose print? What kind of paper you use and why?
E.A.: Although we bet on interactive technology, we are somewhat romantic and believe in the semiotics of paper. We just love the feel of paper, the smell of ink, the sound of printing machines… However, this production has serious limitations to reach the world, which is another reason to launch the interactive magazine for tablets. We considered the design of the magazine, both in paper and interactive format, as a very clean layout. A structure that does not distract the reader. The important thing for us is the content and not to dazzle anyone with the design. Although, actually, it is measured and studied. We like to define the layout of the magazine as a quiet design.
B.: What has been the readers’ response?
E.A.: ROOM Diseño and ROOM Magazine have become renowned journals for an intellectually restless reader. In Spain we are well established and thanks to the iPad version we are building a significant audience in countries like Mexico, USA, UK, France, Argentina or China. Even in Canada readers are increasing.
B.: Business: Good print mags get a lot of love, but is not always translated to sales or advertising. How’s the sales? Advertising wise, is it a normal approach of selling an ad page or more a brand ad approach?
E.A.: Spain is in crisis and the publishing industry is damaged. Still we are managing to strengthen the advertising input, in paper and digital. All beginnings are difficult, but the consolidation of ROOM as a publishing project goes with an increase in sales and advertising. Such consolidation is evident with creators like Arik Levy, who designed the cover of the latest issue.
B.: Upcoming projects
E.A.: There are several things on the horizon… Keep on eye on our site.