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Publishing your magazine as an online pdf

Publishing your magazine as an online pdf

The pros and cons

Whether it’s a client magazine or a personnel magazine, the trend of digitalisation has made it so many magazines have found a new place online as a pdf. Either as an online counterpart to their printed brothers and sisters or as an alternative. So what are the pros and cons to offering a magazine as a pdf?

You can easily publish your magazine online as a pdf. But what are the downsides?

You can easily publish your magazine online as a pdf. But what are the downsides?

Benefits of publishing a magazine as a pdf

Let’s start off with the benefits. One of the most obvious ones is saving costs. Print and distribution are pretty costly and making your magazine available as a download or perhaps even a flippable version on your website saves you a lot of dough. You can measure the amount of people downloading or reading your pdf, so if you’re a marketeer that’s a great benefit over a print magazine. A pdf is easily accessible and can find its way to the reader faster than its print counterpart.


Cutting down on cutting down

Cutting down on print als means a lot less paper needs to be produced. Which is good news for our precious trees. As companies are striving to make green decisions anything that would benefit our environment would help.


So what are the downsides of a magazine as a pdf?

A pdf magazine is in most cases still just an online version of a print magazine, based on an A4 or Letter format with print margins, print layouts, print font sizes, page numbers, spreads etc. Not using any of the befits online has to offer. We’ve broken the cons down into two categories: downsides of a pdf magazine compared to print magazines and compared to other online magazine possibilities.


Downsides of a pdf magazine compared to a print magazine

The cost of a pdf might be a lot lower than a print magazine, but so is the perceived value. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly printed magazine, the feel of the paper and the sensation of flipping through the pages. Marking that interesting article with a post-it and cutting out that one picture to put on your fridge. Do these (admittedly mostly nostalgia related) factors weigh up to the benefits? We found it largely depends which generation you ask.


Downsides of a pdf magazine compared to other online magazine alternatives

Oftentimes the transition to online means saving a print magazine as a low res pdf (without bleed or crop marks) without using any of the advantages online has to offer. Have you ever tried reading a pdf magazine on your mobile phone? You spend more time zooming in and out then actually reading…


A modern online magazine could easily be responsive, interactive, include motion, personalisation, deep links and video’s. The flow and feel of a magazine with the latest web techniques. This vision inspired us to create Greenzeen: online magazines with all of the online benefits.

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