Profiles & Spotlights, Student Profiles

Munch? (aka Student Project Spotlight)

I hate Kobos.

Don’t think I’m biased. I’m also a “hater” of Nooks, Sony eReaders and Kindles. I hate the death of print, and I will hold on to my subscription to Archie Comics until I die. I don’t think this is uncommon, because whenever I bring up how much I love holding a physical copy of a magazine, everyone essentially screams “YASSSS” (by which I mean quietly nodding and saying “I agree”).

But hey, we’ve gotta eat, so media programs are shifting away from that. Which makes this group’s 4th year thesis project so intriguing. I talked with Julia Lennox, a 4th year Media Production student, about their final project: Munch Magazine.

What’s Munch Magazine, in one tweet?

@MunchMagazine is a physical and digital publication that features the stories behind Toronto-based filmmakers, photographers, & designers.

Can you give us some ideas of what to expect in Munch Magazine?

We’re aiming to create a beautiful, high-quality, original magazine that people will turn to as a valuable source for inspiration.
Munch Magazine can be broken down into 3 sections. The first section of Munch will allow our staff to share things that we are currently passionate about. Things that we have found useful and believe that our audience will too. This section will be called the “Appetizer.” These mini-features will highlight quiet workspaces in the city, products, tools, website themes, etc. The objective of this section is to give the reader a quick, easy-to-read resource for things that they will hopefully find as exciting as we do!

The second part of the publication, called the “Main Course,” is the real meat and potatoes of the magazine. In this section, Munch Magazine will showcase fresh and innovative artists from across Toronto. We’re interested in writing about what goes on behind the scenes in artists’ lives, and our editorial content will reflect that. The objective of this section is to share stories, ideas, creative processes, photo essays, samples of work, contact information, and anything else that is applicable to the artist being featured. This section will serve as inspiration for our readers and will help us build a network within Toronto’s creative community.

The final section, “Dessert,” will provide readers with tips, tricks and tools that they can use for creative work on a daily basis. This resource section will reference tools and ideas discussed by our feature artists and explain them in more detail. Desserts might include interesting design software, font books, design tips, colour palette generators, websites with free content, etc. The purpose of this section is to establish Munch as more than just a “coffee table read.” We want Munch to be a tool for creatives to rely on for resources that they can use daily.

You’re in RTA, and we love to yell “Print is dead!” at our J-School friends on karaoke nights. What made you guys want to do a print magazine? And why one focused on the lives of content creators in Toronto?

For the record, we were secretly rooting for Journalism. In all seriousness, though, we want to put storytelling first, regardless of the medium. In fact, we’re major fans of print as a consumable medium. We’re part of a generation that is taught to value digital over tangible, and we’re trying to break out of that mould. There are distinct differences between reading a single-scroll article online versus picking up a magazine and reading the same content. As far as we’re concerned, sifting through real pages that have gone through rigorous, thoughtful design, editorial, and printing cycles is a far more involved process than simply scrolling with a mouse and staring at a screen. That all taken into account, however, there is certainly something to be said for the immediacy and accessibility of digital content. In essence, we’re creators who use the most appropriate tools at our disposal to tell stories.

What kind of digital content will you be posting?

To complement our print magazine, an interactive PDF version of Munch will offer an extended multimedia experience to our audience. The PDF magazine will differ from the print by swapping still images that exist in print to videos and animations in the PDF edition. For instance, photos of an artist that exist in the print publication will be replaced with interview clips in the PDF. Similarly, the content itself will be responsive. While the articles in the print version exist on static pages, the PDF will give readers the chance to quickly move between content in the various sections. The reader will be able to hover over clickable triggers that link to related articles, photo essays, and more. For example, if the user is reading or watching an artist feature, the artist may mention their favourite local workspace. When the reader clicks a specific trigger (an image, video frame, etc.) they will be linked to the Appetizer section of our magazine where we feature the workspace in detail. The PDF version of Munch will live as an downloadable app for iOS and Android.

Our website readmunch.co will offer snippets and previews of our Appetizers and Main Course sections to encourage our readers to buy or download the full publication. We will also have a submission section on the website where we will encourage fellow creatives to submit content such as potential cover art or possible suggestions for artists we should feature in our next publication.

Your thesis project is to have the publication out by January 2015. Is the goal for this to become a quarterly or bi-annual magazine after?

Our goal is for our magazine to become a bi-annual publication.

If you’re someone in FCAD or someone who’s just a fan of the word “multimedia” including “print”, sounds like something you’d be interested in. Check out Julia’s KickStarter campaign here! Support local art, artists, and Ryerson Students!

Are you working on your final year project and want to be featured? Reach out to us! Email rustudentlife@gmail.com

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