Project Q&A – Justus Magazine

Published:  December 14, 2011
Project Q&A – Justus Magazine

Self-publishing a magazine is tricky but Lindsay Smith was up for the trial. A former designer and art director, she started brainstorming a new project from early January 2011 and, just last month, presented Justus Magazine to the print and design industries (and added a few team members along the way).

If you haven’t spotted it around yet, Justus is a quarterly print design journal and apart from a dedicated student section and a typography showcase, it features varying stocks throughout, project reviews (including detailed print specs) and a handful of printing techniques inside – such as foiling and embossing.

We spoke to founder and creative director, Lindsay Smith, about the journey from idea to finished product.

A spread from Justus Magazine - issue one

Congratulations on your very first issue. Where did the idea for the magazine stem from?
The idea came from a love and a passion for what we do and what we are able to achieve every day. Justus Magazine was born due to a necessity; it is a celebration of the print graphic design industry in all its forms and glory. We are dedicated to showcasing the beauty that can be expressed through our talents, and giving strength to an industry that was yearning for this kind of connection.

How many people are in the Justus magazine team?
We’re a strong but small team of four.

How long did it take to complete, from concept development, right through to printing and distribution?
We began brainstorming in January 2011 and the ideas and direction for the publication were very clear from the initial inception. The team was officially formed in June 2011 and the organisation, planning, design and print were completed by the end of November.

Launching a magazine is no easy task. How is the magazine funded and how will it continue to be funded?
Initially Eleven Eleven was fortunate enough to be in the position to be able to fund the launch issue, in conjunction with our industry affiliations. Issue 01 – An Ode to Foiling – gave printer Southern Colour, paper house BJ Ball Group and embellishers Gold Craft Foiling along with Tafeda, the chance to showcase their services. We will continue to give this opportunity to suppliers that need a vehicle to market their products.

In terms of distribution, how many copies have been printed and where can we grab a copy?
Because our philosophy is to build a community around a united passion, and strengthen the connections within this industry, the publication is subscription only. Subscribers are invited to exclusive networking events, which in 2012 will be held not only in Sydney but also in other cities throughout Australia. Designers can download a subscription form from our website or email

How did you go about selecting contributors for the magazine?
All of our contributors come from our subscriber base, because we wish to showcase those who support the Justus philosophy. The team that reviews the Flourish submissions have had extensive experience in the design arena. for over 15 years. and the selections are based on the merit of the work, regardless of the size of the studio or how established they are in the industry – we let the work speak for itself.

Justus Magazine in Sydney in November 2011

Will each issue follow a similar format – student section, typography innovations, interviews, directory etc? Or do you plan to change the magazine with each issue?
We haven’t decided whether Justus Magazine is a he or she, therefore our baby is an ever-evolving creature. Our plan is to stay with the existing format for the first year and listen to our subscribers’ feedback for any adaptations beyond that. Due to the team’s combined design experience, the format of the publication serves as a strong resource tool as well as an aesthetic form of inspiration and therefore it will stay consistent; industry feedback thus far has assured us that this works.

We love the different paper stocks and display of printing techniques at the back of the magazine. What was involved in putting that section together?
Every issue of Justus will always have a minimum of 10 different paper stocks featuring the different Australian paper suppliers so that this in itself will act as an educational resource.

The Friends with Benefits section is unique in that we saw a need for a platform where small suppliers could literally showcase their skills in print to their target demographic. They have used this section as an opportunity to display the best of their capabilities. This is a very unique point of difference for us, as it makes our advertising section as much of a resource as our editorial and a tactile and playful part of the whole experience.

Do you have a favourite section?
I love the range of work and possibilities showcased in Flourish but more so I appreciate the willingness of the entrants’ work to share not only their knowledge but also their project specifications. This shows that there is a clear understanding that by sharing our resources we will build a stronger community.

Might be a little early for this, but when is issue two due out?
Justus Magazine is a quarterly journal. Issue 02 – To Letterpress With Love – comes out in February 2012.

Want to know more? Head to Justus Magazine’s website.

All images copyright Justus Magazine.

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