Magazines have found new life on the web, where old brands have undergone a digital transformation to stay relevant and compete with myriad newcomers both fragile and nimble. A look at the newsstand might make one wonder where all the magazines have gone—but often, a simple Google search reveals the answer.
We love magazines here at Lucidpress, which is one reason why we make it easy to design and share your own. Gorgeous and informational, magazines are an enjoyable way to connect with a lifestyle, hobby or industry—such as brand management, for example. Here's our roundup of the 8 best free magazines online for brand marketers.
1. Branding Magazine
With the tagline "Narrating the discussion," Branding Magazine covers thought leadership and conversations happening in the branding and marketing industries across the globe. Data and case studies combine to create compelling How-To guides and other advice. Articles are beautifully designed and free to read online.
Recommended first read: The Erotics of Branding in Design and Relationships
In this evocative article, design strategist Jonathan Ford speaks with relationship expert Esther Perel about brand desirability and devotion, and why we find ourselves drawn to some brands but not others.
2. Brand Quarterly
Brand Quarterly takes a holistic approach to brand management, pulling in relevant stories and data from various sectors of the marketing world. A quick glance at their latest articles reveals insights about multigenerational marketing, inbound strategies, and even personal branding tips.
Recommended first read: The White Space Is Where Your Brand Lives
In this article, author Adam Pierno reminds us that there is more to our brands than logos and messaging; context beyond our control contributes to brand perception as well.
3. Brand Packaging
Brand Packaging puts a special focus on how brands present their physical products—that is, product packaging. However, it is so much more than that. In this magazine are important discussions about what makes a brand resonate, what keeps it relevant, and why consumers behave the way they do.
Recommended first read: Culture at the Core of Design
In this article, author Ted Mininni examines what makes a brand culturally relevant, and how one brand in particular—Monster Jam—became a unique cultural phenomenon.
4. Onbrand Magazine
With a sharp focus on the outer edges of technology, Onbrand Magazine features contemporary discussions about the future of brand management. From virtual reality to the latest social media development, Onbrand raises questions and offers advice on how to move your brand forward.
Recommended first read: It's Time for Brands to Walk the Talk
In this article, author Rob Coke wonders whether "brand" has become a redundant concept—or worse, conflated with the worst of sleazy advertising techniques. How can brands adjust to show their genuine, honest purpose?
5. UX Magazine
Although it's primarily focused on user experience design, UX Magazine has a robust "Marketing and Brand" section, dedicated to content that lives in that shared Venn diagram space where UX and branding meet. If you aim to be a well-rounded brand manager, it pays to check in here once in a while.
Recommended first read: Why Visual Design Is More Than Meets the Eye
In this article, author David Rhyne examines the who, when and why of visual design—and how good visual design is part of a well-thought out product and an effective brand.
6. Transform Magazine
Calling itself the only global magazine dedicated to rebranding and brand development, Transform Magazine puts the spotlight on an area of branding that is often overlooked. Successful brands evolve and change with the times, and you can learn important lessons by hearing their stories.
Recommended first read: Embracing the Power of Digital Nostalgia
In this opinion article, CEO Simon Massey of the Gild takes a look at nostalgia in the digital age, and how brands can build a bridge between the digital and the physical.
7. Harvard Business Review
Just because you've graduated college doesn't mean you should leave this gem behind. Harvard Business Review has an impeccable reputation for providing practical case studies and actionable advice. Check out the Branding section—you can read 4 articles for free each month, or register to read 4 more.
Recommended first read: Branding in the Age of Social Media
In this long-form article, brand expert Douglas Holt dives into the success and failure of brands on social media, and how a concept called "crowdculture" changes the rules of branding online.
8. Chief Content Officer
This magazine published by the Content Marketing Institute is uniquely focused on content marketing, a relatively new industry which grew out of SEO. Content is vital to brand messaging, making this publication a valuable read for brand managers.
Recommended first read: How to Tell Stories Your Readers Crave: Ideas From a Content Powerhouse
In this article, CCO editor Clare McDermott takes us behind the scenes at Autodesk, a 3D design & engineering company that took content marketing to heart and launched a highly successful content program which bolstered its brand.
What do you think? Will you be adding any of these to your must-read list, and are there important titles we've missed? Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section below.