I love magazines. I love reading them, but even more I really love making magazines. It’s the love of a lifetime.

One copy only magazine

I did my very first magazine at the age of 13. I was inspired by my cousin who did his own home-made magazine about music, so I decided to start doing a magazine called ‘Bims’.

‘Bims’ was a home-made magazine primarily about movies and produced in just one single copy. Images were cut from weekly magazines and anywhere else I was able to find pictures from movies, glued onto coloured paper and supplied with a bit of text written either by hand or on an old typewriter.

The magazine’s readers counted only my family and a few friends at school. Still, it was great fun to do and I do have all eight issues of ‘Bims’ stored somewhere.

All you need is a copy machine

A few years later, I started doing a fanzine called ‘Fantasy’ – it was about comic books and inspired by other small Danish fanzines published back then. I had realised that it was actually possible to do magazines, publish them and get complete strangers to purchase and read them.

Doing ‘Fantasy’ brought me into contact with the Danish comic book community and industry, and I became a member of the editorial group behind the comic book magazine ‘Serie Journalen’. And a few years later, I was one of the co founders of ‘STRIP!’ – the most successful Danish comic book magazine to date.

Going professional

Somewhere in the middle of all this, at the end of 1999, I got hired by a publishing company as the editor of a video games magazine. Circumstances out of my control meant that a couple of weeks into the job, I was suddenly in charge of two monthly magazines instead. Just seeing the magazine I produced on the news stands each month was an indescribable kick.

Some years later, in 2003, I was a freelance writer for the magazine ‘>pcplayer,’ and the editor asked if I wanted to take over the layout – it was the perfect gig being able to both write and do layouts.

‘>pc player’s’ basic design and templates were done by another graphic designer, but as the editorial group shrunk to consist of just the editor and me, the magazine’s visual expression became increasingly my own.

Designing a real games magazine

Even more so when we chose to relaunch the magazine in 2010 under the name ‘Gameplay’ and redesigned both the visual and editorial style of the magazine.

We wanted to create a games magazine targeted at readers that cared more about great game experiences than hardware formats. Readers like us. We succeeded. and to this day I am still very proud of ‘Gameplay’ as a magazine.

However, the market changed. Advertising moved online and away from print, and we had no choice but to stop the magazine in 2014. I got to do the layout on 133 issues.

Now years after, I have to admit that I really miss doing print magazines – online is really not the same. Not that online is bad, it just lack the tactile feel of paper and the smell of ink.

Maybe I should start doing a fanzine again – just for the fun of it!

Categories: Magazines

Thomas Berger

Great communication and marketing are based in stories worth telling – stories about you, me or someone else. Stories about products and features. Stories that makes you smile, laugh or shed a tear. Stories that inspire you to tell your own.