SNOW Magazine Part 2

Continuing with my look at the soon-to-launch SNOW web magazine, I’d like to start by doing something I forgot to do in the previous post — I’ve of course made a quick and easy iPhone wallpaper with the logo, which you can download here.

So why launch a web magazine? It’s an idea I’ve long had — taking what I’ve done over the years with my own blog (this very place) and turning into something a bit less personal, and more magazine-like. I’ve always felt that a site named after a person and set up as a blog has certain limitations in what it can achieve. Yeah, yeah, no need to remind me that the name I’ve chosen for this new project doesn’t exactly stray far from what I have now, but to me it does — I wouldn’t have chosen it if my family name could not double as a common noun.

But more than just the name, it also comes through in the presentation. As you’ll see when SNOW finally launches, it was important for me to have a design that doesn’t just feel like a constant stream of titled posts in chronological order — even though it will still be powered by WordPress — and something that also allows me to be more flexible with image size.

Here’s where I address the most important component of this project though, and what will really set it apart from what you’re used to seeing here. I’ve long been tired of seeing so-called “Japanese experts” get a lot of attention for “finding” what amounts to the worst of Japanese culture, as well as all of the attention that the “this is my life in Tokyo, what a wacky place” blogs all get. I want to not only create a web magazine, but also have a place where a group of people (everyone I’ve invited to participate for the launch) can form a community — strength in numbers, as they say.

SNOW will have regular news items by me — the sort of art/culture/design-related stuff I currently cover on my blog — but the new thing, and what I’m hoping will help built interest in the site, is that a whole bunch of people I respect and like will contribute a monthly column to the site. Some of them will be thematic, some of them visual, and some of them all over the place, but the idea is that they will all somehow work into the “Tokyo/Japan” scope of the site.

By Jean Snow

Production Services Manager at Ubisoft Shanghai. Before that, half a life spent in Tokyo.