Insider: Gym Class magazine

by Stine Fantoft Berg in March 2016
Art & design

A magazine about magazines and the people who make them, Gym Class is unsurprisingly one of our favourite titles. With issue 14 launching tomorrow, here’s founder Steven Gregor on the (sometimes lonely) process of putting it together, social media rehab, and why it’s the best issue he’s made so far.

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In the making of this issue I…

Listened to
BBC 6 Music. It’s always on when I’m working. And here’s a Spotify playlist with some of my fave tracks during production of the new issue:

Used
Instagram. Too much, really. So much so, the Gym Class account no longer follows anyone. I was seeing too much duplication across the Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Digg feeds I follow.

I don’t think I miss anything… I just don’t have the same things served to me over and over again via multiple channels. Serendipity is underrated. Of course, editing Gym Class, I need to know what’s happening. It’s a balance, I guess.

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Got sidetracked by
A book! JG Ballard’s High-Rise… loved it. It’s a modern cliché, but sorting out my social media has made me so much happier. I’m now reading Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Oh… and I also got distracted by design. I’ve edited and designed Gym Class up until now. I really wanna collaborate with a designer for future issues so I can focus on the words.

High-Rise

Sacrificed
Time doing other things. Making each issue of Gym Class always takes longer than I think it will. Plus, the new issue is 100 pages… the biggest issue so far… with more contributors and collaborators than any other issue! I’m not making it easy for myself.

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Met
Me, Myself and I. So much of Gym Class is made via email so, surprisingly, meeting people is rare. The contributing writers and photographers get out more than I do.

Going to more (and varied) launches and events is high on my to-do list. I wanna get out there and meet people and uncover the stories perfect for Gym Class.

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Made sure that
Gym Class got a distributor; Comag is helping get Gym Class in stores and Newsstand is helping with online sales and fulfilment.

Like so many indie magazines, Gym Class is made at night and weekends. Fourteen issues in, I’m now focussed on using my time better. I won’t be hanging out in the Old Street Post Office any more… Thank goodness.

Oh… Gym Class also got an ISSN and bar code! It’s gone legit. Kinda. 🙂

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Lost sleep over
The cover. Always the cover. Gym Class plays a part in this, obviously… but, I think we place too much emphasis on magazine covers. People need to go into shops, discover, buy and read magazines (or subscribe to Stack!). Double tapping a cover on Instagram isn’t really supporting that magazine in any meaningful way.

Was excited about
All the beautiful typefaces by Commercial Type I got to design with. This is the second issue of Gym Class designed exclusively with Commercial Type typefaces. They’re onboard as Font Foundry Partner. Super humbled.

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Couldn’t stop laughing at
The contribution by Wallpaper* Creative Director Sarah Douglas. I wasn’t expecting to laugh out loud when Sarah submitted her copy, but her article (about Wallpaper*’s limited-edition subscriber covers) is a must-read. Interesting, funny, and a masterclass in handling the artistic temperament.

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And everyone should buy a copy because
The new issue is the strongest so far. There’s so much great content for all kinds of magazine makers… indie or mainstream, editors and designers. There’s interviews, cover galleries, photography, illustration, opinion and some proper grown-up think pieces too. You can get a copy from our web shop!

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