Web Design Publications | September 2, 2005

In the UK, there are a reasonable number of magazines dealing with the web. Unfortunately most of them are aimed at the hobbyist rather than the professional market. As such, they are full of website reviews and “How to” tutorials. Of the magazines available, the only ones I occasionally dip into are Computer Arts Magazine and Digit. Sometimes I’ll glance through New Media Age but it pretty much reads like any other industry trade journal. Company X wins contract from company Y. Creative Director from Company A moves to company B. You know the sort.

So I was wondering what the state of web magazine publishing was like in your country? Do you have any great web design magazines that you read every month? If your work was to be featured in one design or technology magazine, which one would it be?

Posted at September 2, 2005 2:36 PM

Comments

Trevor May said on September 2, 2005 2:19 PM

We used to have cre@te here in the UK as well, remember that one? I rather liked that mag. Lots of profiles of designers, developers and agencies and what they were all up to. It sadly died at the end of the dot-com boom era.

There was another short-lived mag which wasn’t as good. No idea what it was called though. Agree on CA and Digit.

I occasionally find a NMA in the office toilet, presumably because we’ve run out of toilet paper.

Marko Samastur said on September 2, 2005 2:33 PM

Not really or at least none that I or other developers I know are aware of.

Sure, you have magazines that show you what can be found on the net and an odd article now and then about how to do something yourself, but you probably didn’t mean that.

We even lack something resembling community, which is why this autumn we are starting a series of weekly talks about web development and things surrounding it. From first responses I’m very hopeful we’ll get really good talks and might actually achieve our plan of keeping this weekly tempo until next summer.

Still, a magazine would be nice.

Aaron Gustafson said on September 2, 2005 2:50 PM

The U.S. has a whole lotta nothing. I can’t find a decent print mag on web tech to save my life. If I read anything, it’s usually your UK pubs.

Mostly I look around for inspriational stuff… stuff about thinking that is not solely web-oriented, which leads me to pubs like 2600 and Make. I occasionally read the trades like InformationWeek or eWeek, but they don’t really tell me anything new.

Design-wise, Communication Arts is about all I know of in the states for print pubs featuring interactive design (and awards).

Dave S. said on September 2, 2005 3:38 PM

Blogs are the new magazine. Right? Right?

I’m honestly not that interested in printed magazines anymore. I still buy the odd CA and assorted others, but I rarely read them and never cover-to-cover.

Non-printed, on the other hand… Digital Web has been on a roll the past year, and with ALA back from the dead, things are looking good.

Jan Korbel said on September 2, 2005 3:47 PM

Hmmm… I thought that this is only a problem of our little market - I am from Czech Republic (10 mil. people) - and now I hear that you also have nothing decent to read.
Isn’t strange? The web development surely is not that fast, it would not allow for a monthly mag. And it could be in english and reach world-wide as all of us have to know english.
Offer me something worhty for a 10-15$ a month and I am all in to it.

James said on September 2, 2005 5:11 PM

The problem I find with the magazines available in the UK, is that as far as I can find, there are no magazines geared towards advanced hobbyists or professionals of web design/development, which seems to be a glaring gap in the market.

Hope you don’t mind me commenting, I was referred to your blog by a friend and have been reading a few of your entries.

Keith McLaughlin said on September 2, 2005 5:54 PM

The best one I’ve found here in Ireland is the UK based mag called Practical Web Design. Some of the info is geared towards hobbyists, but there is usually something for the more advanced designer in it.

Christian Watson said on September 2, 2005 7:06 PM

Andy,

Here are a few that’d I’d recommend:

Charles said on September 2, 2005 7:07 PM

I’m with you in your displeasure over the lack of decent magazines aimed at web design and development in the UK. I’ll have to disagree with Trevor over Cre@te - I hated that mag. Although I was a subscriber from issue 1 ‘til the day it died (beggars can’t be choosers), it represented everything I detested about the dot-com era. It was a perfect example of style over substance, will endless ball-licking of the latest skillzed-up flash designers, and very little theory or intelligent discussion. I think it started to get a little better towards the end, but not much. To be fair, though, it was an accurate reflection of its time. I actually sighed with relief when it closed. Thank god that era is over.

Now I read Computer Arts regularly, but that too leaves a bitter taste. It’s too tools based, with not enough insight and theory. The latest issue, for instance, has an article on fluid layouts. Nice, I thought, but it turned out to be an 8 step, screenshot dominated, Dreamweaver tutorial with just one relevant step describing how to float:left and set the width of a div to 70%. Great. I’m all clued up now.

I’d love for there to be a mag with the content, style and writing quality of A List Apart, Design in Flight, Digital Web or SitePoint. Just imagine a mag penned by todays best bloggers and web thinkers. I know I’d buy it. But, I suspect it is and will always remain a niche best served by the blogs and online ‘zines themselves. Having said this, online content just can’t replace that feel of lovingly crafted dead-tree in your hands; the smell of fresh print; and the endless supply of covermounted coasters, stuffed full of trial versions of Dreamweaver.

Mark Jäger said on September 2, 2005 7:10 PM

Germany: 0 Points.

Same thing as in the UK. Some business-mags. On the design/production-front: nothing noteworthy. They seem to discover CSS right now. Pityful at best. Something like “Hey! With CSS you can make change the color of your links!” or something.

That is why I looooooved Design On Flight soooo much. The real stuff.

Henrik said on September 2, 2005 7:17 PM

Sweden: no web design magazines at all. We got “internetworld” which is a collection of links and “datormagazin” which is about software, programming and other advanced stuff, but nothing for the web.

Lea from What Is My IP Address? said on September 2, 2005 11:58 PM

Australia - everything I see in the newsagent is hobbyist aimed.
But it would take a lot to get me to pick up a paper magazine anyway. Everything hot is on the web. Paper is, what, over a month old? Why would I want to pay money for that?

kelet said on September 3, 2005 1:51 AM

China:CA is the only one I can find that refers to the web design much,and quite many magazines deal with games design or IT news

Nice Paul said on September 4, 2005 12:56 AM

I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of web design magazines on the shelves of WH Smith this year (I believe they even now publish their own, as well as software guides like Photoshop), although as you say most of them are of the “hobbyist” sort - .net being the largest of those, but on the odd occasion where I’ve picked it up off the shelf just out of curiousity I’ve noticed tutorials shockingly wide of the mark for what we’ve come to expect as ‘best practices’ from reading Web Standards blogs.

Bruno Girin said on September 4, 2005 10:26 AM

Dead tree magazine? What’s that? Seriously, whether it is web design or any other type of development that goes beyond the hobbyist level, I never ever buy a mag, I go online. It’s a shame though. But what is more of a shame is that all those magazines targetted at the hobbyist have “tutorials shockingly wide of the mark for what we’ve come to expect as ‘best practices’ from reading Web Standards blogs” as nice Paul pointed out.

Maybe the first thing would be to work with those magazine and explain to them why their tutorials are off the mark and what web standards are all about. This might help educate the masses. Note that they are not the only culprits in this: I recently bought the O’Reilly book on JavaServer Faces, which is quite a new technology and meant to produce the front-end to J2EE applications. Guess what I found in there? Good ol’<font> tag!

Alexander Berglund said on September 4, 2005 3:53 PM

This as much to Andy as it is to “Henrik” - almost anywat ;-):

Sweden: Internetworld cover more the technical issues regarding sites, and computer and gadgets as I understood. There is one - Cap&Design (Computer Assisted Publishing) which have started write more about web, but they mostly covers as much designrelated stuff as print, illustrations and so on. Now they started to bring out more and more with samples of sites with correct syntaxes and tip on how to do certain things in CSS and divs.

João Craveiro said on September 5, 2005 8:35 AM

Portugal: -1 points

Even hobbist webdesign magazines are just 3 months late imports from Brazil.

Monthly computer magazines (those who are REALLY from here) in general tend to have a sort of a DYI section, with 1 article on programming, 1 on Office, …, and 1 on “webdesign”, but this is usually things like “how to make a rollover button… with Flash” or “yet another tutorial on building a page full-cramped with tables”.

Jens Meiert said on September 5, 2005 3:17 PM

The Web standards and/or good Web design world is not represented in print media, so there are no good mags. Everytime I take a closer look at one, at first I need to laugh, then I cry. But there are so many Web designers and developers not really mastering the matter, I do not wonder anymore.

Miles said on September 5, 2005 3:25 PM

if I could buy a decent paper based magazine I would, web design doesn’t move so fast that a month takes you out of the flow and to be honest I stare at a monitor for up to 12 hours a day- any break I can get is good.

I still download and print Design in flight magazine to read without a PC, handy for the train home, other than that Computer arts can be quite good if you catch one of their special issues that focus on one specific subject.

(Oh whoever mentioned Cre@te, I too read it from start to finish but only because that was all there were, if I saw one more Kerb design in there I would have exploded)

Tom said on September 5, 2005 11:26 PM

I really cant stand the UK mags. As Marks says, “Look what you can do with CSS” and “£50 of Free Web Software” is the normal crap. CreativeArts is good but overpriced.

Perhaps there is a gap to fill for the professional web designer/developer. A bit like ALA and DIF but with some company profiles and interviews.

James B said on September 6, 2005 8:21 AM

We get PHP magazine here at our office (UK) which has got some rather technical stuff going on inside. Worth a look:

http://www.php-mag.net/

Richard Rutter said on September 9, 2005 10:33 AM

I used to buy Internet Magazine, ooh ten years ago. Back then they ran lists of peoples websites at the back of the magazine. Earlier issues had people’s email addresses! Gradually this too moved towards the hobbyist (or I moved away from the hobbyist; maybe both).

Then I used to pick up Cre@te quite a bit. It used to annoy the hell out of me, for the reasons stated in other comments here. But it still had enough eye candy for inspiration.

Lee said on September 9, 2005 6:03 PM

It seems there is an opportunity for us to get a say in the UK web market, the new editor of Practical Web Design magazine is asking for suggestions here.

Ray Mosley said on September 13, 2005 10:43 AM

Personally here I read computer arts and .net magazine but I am looking round for some good trade publications to be honest to keep up on the eb and flow

Glen Swinfield said on September 13, 2005 10:04 PM

I subscribed to a UK web magazine about 10 months ago while having an ‘ooh that might be a good idea’ moment. It wasn’t. I figured that if I scimmed through the hobbyist junk there would be some good industry news and other bits and peices, but alas, no.

The programming tutorials are trivial and the news is a bit last week. If I ever read another - ‘get to the top of google fast’ article that tells me to use alt tags and a good frequency of keywords written in a ‘this is the propper professionals insider tips right here’ style I am going to cry - and then I’m going to burn it.

Justin Halsall said on September 24, 2005 9:20 PM

I say we start our own, why wait for someone else to do it when we can do it much better!
We know what we want! We can build it! All we need is a small team to start this going. I’m not much of a writer (I’m dyslectic) but I know lots about webdesign, I’m up to date and best of all: I’m down for a challenge!

Paul Le Comte said on October 11, 2005 12:53 AM

Charles,

I’d have to disagree 80% of what you said re cre@te magazine.

From a design point of view, it provided much of the fuzzy geek stuff that designers had little knowledge about, but of course which they needed to know something about. It was a very good magazine, RIP.

As for web inspiration in magazines, there’s very little that is out there, although computerarts.co.uk is of course pretty good.

Most design trends are covered exceptionally well in Creative Review from the UK creativereview.co.uk. This is an exceptional magazine. (Yikes got to renew my prescription).

But to get the latest and best you just gotta go online don’t you?