Pet People is a print magazine celebrating the love stories of pets and their people, one city per issue. Interview with the founders, Hilda Grahnat and Linnea Paulsson.
Can you tell us about your magazine?
We are a team of two people. Hilda Grahnat is a photographer and Linnea Paulsson is a graphic designer. We wanted to work together and use our disciplines in a project that is different from how we usually work. We’re equally passionate about making a print magazine as we are about telling the stories of pets and their people. We started by making the content for our first issue, thinking it would be a one-time thing. But we realized that we could and should make it into a series, where each issue is focused on pets and their people in a particular city.
Editorial wise.. .
We’re don’t tell dramatic stories. We’re not solving world problems. We’re telling the small stories about why we love animals and why they love us. Steven Watson described it really well in his review on the AIGA blog Eye on Design, when he wrote: “The distinct size is intentional, of course. It’s the physical embodiment of the animals it features; small but perfectly formed, a cute and quiet addition to your home. Because none of the animals or people here are extraordinary—there’s nobody making art about their cats, no dogs dressed up as surreal sculptures. These are just people opening up about their relationships with their animals. The design emphasizes this sense of intimacy, with photography that provides tight little glimpses of domestic life.” We’re letting the photos lead the story, and one-person narratives based on interviews compliment them. Each issue is focused on one city, and we meet the pets and their people in their homes or at a favorite place and learn about their relationship and life together.
Tell us about yourself
Hilda is a crazy cat lady without a cat of her own. She is a photographer, focused on creatives and their work, homes and interiors, people and their stories, faraway places and near. And pets.
Linnea Paulsson loves furry animals in sizes ranging from cats to horses. She is a graphic designer and a composer of objects, whether it be print or product designing or arranging flower pots in her window.
In making this magazine, we act as all the roles neeeded to make a magazine. We are creative directors, writers, editors, promoters, business managers, web administrators, distributors and everything in between. Our motto is “make it ’til you make it”, meaning we learn as we go along.
Print: Why choose print? What kind of paper you use and why? Typography?
What we like about print is everything that the digital world lacks. The tactile qualities, a feeling of worth, a shelf life, form and content in symbiosis, something to look forward to and collect. Our paper is Cyclus Offset, made of 100% recycled fibres. It’s a paper that feels nice and is a bit rough to the touch, but still has a really good color depth for photos. We use the typeface Apercu, which is clean and contemporary – just like the magazine.
How’s the public response?
The good thing about the Internet is that you can use the whole world as your audience and reach people who share your interests in really unexpected places. We’ve had great success in Asia with our first issue, and we hope to expand our audience there with coming issues. We’ve very happy that people seem to really “get” what we do and what we’re about. Every week we get emails from people who either want their pet to be featured or want to contribute to the content in some way. It’s really rewarding to use a project like this to connect with other people.
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?
We’ve been very well received and our sales are going so much better than we ever could have anticipated. We’ve turned a profit already with our first issue and that fact has made us even more confident in moving forward. We are ad-free and hope to stay so. This is not a full-time endeavour for us, we work as a photographer and graphic designer with clients, so we want to create something that only we set the boundaries for and that isn’t about selling or promoting products. The magazine is self-financed, meaning the profit of our sales goes toward the travel and printing costs of the following issue. Since it’s just the two of us, we don’t have any other costs, like contributor fees etc, to cover.
We’re looking forward to getting to know pet life in such a diverse and interesting city. We are also in talks with several people who have reached out to us about doing collaborations of different sorts, time will tell what it will lead to.
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