What kind of magazine is The Alpine Review?
It’s about ideas, people and places that matter, that is, that have the potential to influence or inspire the operators of change in society. You could say it’s about the culture of change. The underlying idea is that the pace of everything is accelerating (it’s been called the ‘new normal’) and we all seem to be operating without a map. The Alpine Review does not provide a map, but at least some perspective on things that may help or inspire.
What does the name “The Alpine Review” stand for?
The Alpine Review provides a useful metaphor in a few ways. First, it’s about perspective. Climbing the mountain for the inarticulable gratification of surveying the landscape and getting an overview. It seems overwhelming at the bottom, but when you’re standing at its peak, the path makes sense and the journey worthwhile. Second, it’s about massive disruptions; like tectonic shifts, they are most apparent at the edges where the plates collide: changing landscapes and making mountains. Finally, with mountains come cliffs, caves and caverns, hidden valleys and unexpected crevices to explore and discover.
Why a print magazine?
Tactile pleasures are important. Hardcopies are important. Permanence is important. Humans have multiple senses. We believe in substance, both physical and content-wise. We felt it was important for this project to have a tangible form, to ship, to leave behind.
You can’t compare the work that goes into a printed magazine with what normally goes into a purely digital product. Print is unforgiving and permanent. The attention to detail, the endless hours of proofreading, the humanness of it, the design aspects… they all make a print product much, much more superior than a digital product.
Other good reasons exist, but here’s what we think:
Firstly, it’s about sharing, giving away and leaving behind. Magazines carry culture, concepts and inspiration in a pleasant and flexible format. Pass it from hand to hand to a friend, a coworker, a family member, lend it out, re-gift it, get it back and retire it to the bookshelf that your children will one day inherit. Print is not dead, it’s immortal.
Secondly, printed magazines don’t require WiFi, a power outlet, or a cooling pad between your lap and the pages. They are slid into backpacks, briefcases and bags and taken on real-life adventures. They are cherished and protected in ways that pixels never can be. They are shared and passed along without ever becoming obsolete, inaccessible or inconvenient.
Tell us how you came with this idea
Both editors were convinced that there was a market for this kind of publication and that if no one was going to fill the gap, we would do it ourselves. In 2012 we decided to stop waiting and start making.
Where will it be distributed?
Online, through our website and internationally, via stockists. Stockists are specialized magazine retailers and independent bookstores.
How often will it be distributed?
It is a bi-annual magazine (2 per year). The Fall/Winter edition is called Versant Nord (‘north side’) and the Spring/Summer edition is called Versant Sud (‘south side’).
How much does it cost?
Each copy is $35 (AU, US, CAN) / €28 / ₤22 / J¥3800 / DKK225
Is it possible to subscribe to the magazine?
Annual subscriptions can be ordered from our online shop (which is essentially pre-paying for 2 issues) at a discount. Subscribers will also receive bonus surprises and limited-edition gifts that will not be available in stores. A nice perk for those who appreciate getting a little extra.
Is it available in English only?
Yes. We have always envisioned The Alpine Review as an international platform. We wanted the magazine to be as accessible as possible on an international level and therefore English is the language of choice.
Is there an online version of the magazine?
Not currently. We would be happy to stay in the physical realm indefinitely, but we’ll see how this evolves.
Can we expect more content online?
Aside from being the main retail gateway (purchasing single copies or subscriptions through the site), readers can keep up with some of the topics that we have included in the printed version. If there are updates to some stories, for example, we might include them online on our blog.
Is it possible to advertise in your magazine?
We think advertising plays an important role within a print publication and we are not against it. For issue 1, we wanted it to be ad free because 110% of our time was spent developing the product. We did not want to be distracted hunting advertisers.
We may include companies and businesses that we see eye to eye with in terms of ambition, quality and ethos in our second issue. If you are interested in advertising with us, please email: email@example.com.
How is your magazine different from other magazines?
We are unique for multiple reasons. But here are our top 3:
- Scope. We cover a lot of ground. We tackle a wide variety of topics that are linked under a specific theme.
- Scale. 285 pages packed with knowledge, without any advertising, is unheard of in the industry. Ultimately, page count does not matter if you don’t have good content, but if you do, it becomes very interesting. We provide good value.
- Synergy, between good content and good design. We feel we have achieved the beautiful balance of good content with good design. The magazine feels like a pleasure-read, while serving as a compendium or toolkit as well. The best of both worlds.
Can you give us a sneak preview of the content in this first issue?
The first issue focuses on the theme of ‘Antifragility’, a term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and through this lens we find connections and crossroads in some unlikely places. Exploring industries and ideas from agriculture to pornography, marketing to axe-making, future business and ownership models to climate change, we’ve magically found connecting threads that tie them all together. It reads like the best conversation you’ve ever had and comes with endnotes for further exploration.
Can you explain the theme “Antifragility”?
Taleb explains that there is currently no word for things that benefit from shock and volatility. There are things that are fragile, things that are robust, but what about those things that do more than endure? We have realized that our institutions, our financial system and many other things are ‘fragile’. Taleb’s idea is to move from the fragile, to the antifragile. This, to us, was a very interesting and timely exploration given the tumultuous state of the world at this moment in time. Those things, places, projects and structures that are antifragile are showing themselves, as the fragile and even the robust crumble.
Can you explain the selection of your first cover page?
This picture (Girl on Carousel) was taken at Knott’s Berry farm in 1958, by Nick DeWolf, who is our featured photographer for issue 1. We found the image to be an intriguing reinterpretation and representation of the inaugural issues themes.
Firstly, the idea of antifragility. The carousel is an icon of robustness, passing elegantly through time through trends, fads and changes in technology. One could say carousels, really, only get better with age. Carousels are one of those things that are cherished and protected, the hand-carved animals from decommissioned carousels have second lives as work of art, and can sell for upwards of 50K per piece.
This particular carousel is one of the oldest and most beautiful carousels in America today. Almost 100 years old, it is a rare Dentzel Carousel, a ‘Menagerie-Jester Head’ model featuring 52 hand-carved animals and 2 ornate sleighs.
Secondly, carousels embody true craftsmanship: the craftsmen who created these animals, by hand, went far beyond what was necessary for simply constructing a seat on a ride. At the intersection between craft and art is the artisan. No shortcuts, no quick-fixes, no cheap ingredients or dull tools. These elegant sculptures were their life’s work, their pride and their legacy.
Lastly, the little girl, with her inarguably fierce presence, was chosen as the ambassador of Issue 1. Despite her small frame, ribbons in her hair and pretty little dress, she is clearly a force to be reckoned with. Her face shows that she is a (little) warrior. Expressed in her pursed lips and furrowed brow is determination and antifragility—not afraid to fail, ready to explore and conquer the world beyond the merry-go-round.
We felt this picture was the right choice. We still do.