Imagine starting a magazine as a 19-year-old with no publishing or editorial experience. That's precisely what The Luna Collective Editor-in-Chief, Sophie Gragg, did. Curating her magazines in Los Angeles, The Luna Collective was launched in 2018, describing itself as “[an] online platform [and] film magazine spotlighting creatives and fostering a community”. The magazine exhibits a broad creative vision and insight within a cross-section of music, film photography and culture. It fosters an inclusive global community by showcasing the work of marginalised creatives.
The Luna Collective has gained a large online following, featuring emerging artists Sigrid, Wallows, Maggie Lindemann and Still Woozy on the covers. Some readers even asked Sophie for guidance on creating their own publications. Having been in their position before, Sophie developed a course, condensing everything she learned about design, copy, and photography into a concise 9-week program. For Sophie, it was an opportunity to remind participants that print is still very much sought-after and accessible in the digital age.
But The Luna Collective isn’t your typical glossy magazine. Sophie instead chooses to print all issues with satin paper for the inner pages and cover for a muted and understated appearance. Full-colour digital printing provides maximum impact and clarity, while PUR perfect binding gives each print a sleek, professional look. We caught up with Sophie to learn more about her publication and experience printing with Mixam:
Sophie, why a magazine and why Mixam?
A magazine was the easiest way to combine and display a variety of creative expressions, including photography, design, and words. As a whole, the point of Luna is to showcase creatives, and I felt a print magazine was the most creative yet digestible way to do so. We’ve worked with Mixam pretty much since the beginning due to its ease of use, print quality, and amazing customer support.
What significance do you think print offers in sectors like music and photography, especially for indie or upcoming artists?
Print will always provide a unique opportunity and viewpoint as it is tangible. Nothing really beats seeing your work in print. Print adds a layer of legitimacy and validation for creatives in the music and photography world.
Tell us about your editing and design process - do you always have a firm vision of what your final issue will look like, or does it tend to evolve?
We are always treading the line between cohesive, clean-cut design and creative, out-of-the-box spreads. We have a style book we definitely adhere to and a sense of what many of the spreads will look like, but make sure to allow room for it to evolve as the design team gets it all together.
"I think it's a pretty big misconception that print is difficult and inaccessible."
Do you know beforehand what content you want to see online and in print?
We take an exclusive approach to print content. The content that we feature in our print magazines is content that we are willing to spend a lot more time and money around and needs to be work that we truly align with and believe in.
Printing online has also inspired you to set up workshops and The Publication Network - tell us more!
I think it’s a pretty big misconception that print is difficult and inaccessible. At first, it can be daunting, but the current landscape allows people to learn and do it themselves easily with a low entry barrier. We host lots of workshops and, for the first time ever, a 9-week course about sharing the resources for creating a print project. The goal is to educate and empower as many creatives as possible to create their own print project and bring their works and ideas to life in a new way. I am so grateful I could learn so much about the printing world over the past 5 years, and I just want to share the knowledge and love.
What's your initial reaction when your print orders arrive?
I am always amazed by how good it feels to see each print project arrive. Of course, I’m thinking, “Did everything print ok?” but ultimately, I’m thinking about how cool it is to see a tangible version of something I’ve been working on digitally for months.
What are your top print tips for anyone considering printing with Mixam?
Check your printing guidelines beforehand! And make sure you know the page and bleed dimensions - plus anything notable about colour profiles. I encourage anyone to also reach out to the Mixam team, as they are so easy to work with if you have any questions about your print file.
To learn more about The Luna Collective, visit their website, and you can find more information about their Publication Network here. And to print your own Magazines, quotes are available here for free.
Image Credit: Sophie Gragg at The Luna Collective