Carson magazine will debut on newsstands this week, but it’s not a publication named after the L.A. city where David Beckham and his teammates play for the Galaxy.
Its namesake is David Carson, who was art director for the now-defunct Ray Gun magazine in the mid-’90s, when he became known for his unusual approaches to typography.
The folks behind the magazine think that with Carson aboard as creative director, they have a hipster product that’s edgy, ultracool and something tangible to hold in your hand.
Wait, what year is this? Can hip still exist in print, not just on the Internet? Possibly, said Leonora A. Nielsen, the magazine’s global strategy manager.
“I think people are tired of everything just being so instant,” said Nielsen, who believed in the vision so strongly that she sold a Paris apartment to help finance the launch. “They want to curl up on their sofa with a magazine.”
Nielsen, who previously spent several years as a producer in digital media, computer games, TV and film, said the magazine plans to publish six times its first year, and will try and survive through ad sales and subscriptions.
Articles will be varied: There’s a piece about a French surfboard maker, another about worm droppings and another called “A Road Warrior DJ’s Survival Guide.” Advertisers in the 86-page debut issue include Bang & Olufsen and Buddy Carr Skateboards.
The premiere issue has a print run of 25,000 copies with a cover designed by Carson, and articles paired with cutting-edge art and graphic design.
“It’s a lot like Interview,” said editor Alex Storch. “We take these great writers and put them in with other great writers. We’ve gone after the best and we combine that with really great art. Getting Carson, he was our first choice as far as designers.
Carson the magazine is headquartered on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and has a staff of seven. Carson the man is based in New York.
Samir Husni, a magazine expert at the University of Mississippi, has seen the first issue of Carson and believes it can find a modest niche in the marketplace.
“The days of magazines launching with millions of copies, that is going to be very limited,” said Husni, known in the industry as “Mr. Magazine.” “We are more in the business of customers who count instead of counting customers.”
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