Launched in 2007 and bearing the tagline “A briefing on global affairs, business, culture & design,” [Monocle] wouldn’t at first glance appear to be the kind of publication destined to survive a Great Recession.
For one thing, Monocle is, defiantly, a print publication: Its editors are totally obsessed with paper. When the new issues arrive at the London HQ, they all stand around plunging their noses deep into the binding for a whiff. Some issues have eight or nine different paper stocks, each with its own distinctive smell, and so they sometimes smell each section on its own. “The whole print-media thing is sort of self-fulfilling,” he says. “It’s part of our mantra: If you put a magazine on shitty paper with shitty repro and bad journalism, why should people want to buy it? If you deliver something that has an improved quality of paper and is collectible, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people want to pick it up, hold on to it, pay a premium on it.”