Stack launches

by Steve Watson in December 2008
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It’s about six months since I was first struck by the idea of bringing together all the brilliant magazines that I love to read, and now it’s time to get on with the job of sending them out to people who will appreciate them. It’s been a busy few months and thanks have to go to Danny, Alex, Victoria and all the other people at The Church of London Design who have been involved in the Stack branding and website, and who have helped me turn the idea into reality.

Thanks should also go to Russell Davies for blogging about his idea that people should read a new magazine every month. When I read his idea it seemed to make sense as a way of discovering new and interesting stuff, but of course there’s the obvious problem that there are so many bad magazines out there – all style and no substance, the sort of magazines that get you all excited with a beautiful cover, only to fill their pages with dull fashion shoots and rubbish editorial. I’ve an idea that Russell was talking about magazines more generally, suggesting that people should dip into a range of magazines from Cage and Aviary to Butt, but I liked the idea of bringing together the most intelligent, good looking independent magazines in one place.

The other big influence on Stack is the t-shirt company momimomi. A friend’s wife bought him a subscription to momimomi for his birthday, and every month he gets sent a brilliant new limited edition t-shirt. He never knows what’s coming next, but he does know that it’s going to be great quality.

Stack aims to be the magazine equivalent of momimomi – a service that tracks down quality products and delivers them direct to its subscribers. I source all the magazines that form part of Stack, and the selection is completely independent – I only choose the magazines that have got the most distinctive voice, the best stories and most striking design. None of those things is enough on its own, but by finding magazines that bring all the elements together I’m confident that I can supply a service that Stack’s subscribers will love.

The plan is to sell advertising inserts in the Stack packs to make some money and subsidise the purchase and delivery of magazines. I think it’s important to keep prices low for the subscribers, but I want to make sure that I can lay my hands on the greatest titles in the world, wherever they’re made. I’m very excited to have the US-based magazine Arthur on the Stack list from launch, and I’m currently talking to several other magazines based in the US and Canada about how we can get copies of their magazines over here for distribution.

I’m looking forward to discovering even more fantastic independent magazines over the coming months, and hopefully hearing what people think about the titles I send out. If you want to see them for yourself sign up to Stack and I’ll start sending magazines out to you too – just take a look at the page of Featured Stack magazines to whet your appetite for quality independents.

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