The Magazine as Medium: Design, Materiality, and the Relationship Between Text and Non-text in European Periodicals

5 – 6 October 2012

Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Marshall McLuhan famously argued that magazines and newspapers resemble mosaics: their unique amalgam of texts, images and advertising, elicit reader participation in ways no other printed matter can.  Almost fifty years after the publication of McLuhan’s classic study Understanding Media (1964), magazines have gone digital and increasingly rely on audio, video and interactive elements to channel their information. But what is the effect of their particular arrangement of materials? How do texts, images, design, typography and materiality interact?  This conference seeks to explore the relationship between textual and non-textual aspects of European periodicals. We welcome proposals for 15 to 20 minute talks on the above theme, both dealing with individual magazines and discussing wider trends. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Periodical design and typography
Periodical materiality
Interaction between text and design in periodicals
The role of images in magazines
Avant-garde and underground magazines
Multimedia, loose leaf and unbound magazines
The role of magazine advertising
Non-textual elements in digital magazines