Will Esquire's Cover Really 'Revolutionize' the Way We Read Magazines?
Granger: 'This is the most important issue of my 11 years at Esquire.'
Truly revolutionary. A
breakthrough issue. Historic. A game-changer. A milestone in the publishing
That's how a gushing vice president and publisher Kevin O'Malley described Esquire's much-hyped 75th anniversary issue coverâ€”the first to use flexible electronic "paper"â€”during a press conference in New York City Monday.
Editor-in-chief David Grangerâ€”a frequent proponent of innovationâ€”called the issue "a beginning."
"As Esquire does this again, and as more Hearst magazines get into the act, I think the versatility of digital, of flexible display technology, can be a stunning enhancement to what the print medium does," said Granger. In a July interview with FOLIO:, Granger said that electronic paper display technology could revolutionize the way people read magazines.
The electronic cover (100,000 copies are available only on newsstands) is made up of microcapsules that contain black and white pigment which rise to the surface of the flexible plastic cover when a charge is added. The batteries, Esquire says, should last six to eight months.
RELATED: The Technology Behind Esquire's Flashing Cover
But is this blinking cover really the future of magazines? I find it hard to believe. Who needs a blinking magazine when devices like the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader do, in essence, the same thing, and neatly updated newsâ€”something magazine publishers say will be one of the uses of e-paperâ€”is already available on smartphones?
That said, the Esquire cover is pretty cool, and, more importantly, an effective publicity gimmick for an anniversary issue that
happens to feature some great editorial, too.
"This is the most important issue of my 11 years at Esquire," Granger told me after the conference. "I want to call as much attention as I can to that."
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