Print Exposed

The Exposed magazine reimagines how we interact with traditional print publications by integrating digital content via a companion app. Now celebrating the release of its second issue, we catch up with the editor Henriette Kruse.

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The front cover of The Exposed Issue 2

Could you tell us about your background and how you got involved with the magazine?
I am a designer and entrepreneur working in the intersection of print and digital media. In 2015 I was invited to the design-led incubator CIID Nest in Copenhagen where I founded The Exposed Magazine with Stephen Kelly (UK), David Peñuela (ES), Cecilie Nellemann (DK) and Stefan Thorsteinsson (DK). This was the beginning of a journey to explore the future of storytelling.

What drew you to the idea of combining a print magazine with a digital experience?

In many ways it felt like a very natural path. I come from a graphic design background, working with printed matter, and I’ve always loved photography. The last couple of years I’ve gradually become more and more interested in applying technology, and I think many writers, publishers and graphic designers find that there is a gap between the habits of reading content online and flicking through the physical pages of a print publication. I think what we wanted to do differently was not to favour any media, but instead use the media that we find relevant. We talked a lot about the intimate experience you have when you read a book, and it was important for us to keep that intimacy even when we started to add the digital elements. It was really about getting closer to the artist and getting behind the story, using the medium to convey this idea.

What sort of experience are you aiming to give readers of The Exposed?

There have been many reports made on how consumers and readers interact with media. And the general thesis usually comes down to the fact that digital media overloads us with on-demand content while print is claimed to make us focus. With this in mind we wanted to find a way for physical and digital media to complement each other, rather than working against each other. A lot of people are experimenting with augmented reality, but I think we’re different in the way we want to preserve the slow pace of the printed medium. The app should complement the printed magazine and add to it in a way that’s relevant and not annoying or confusing.

The subjects covered in this issue are quite broad, from green technology to cultural heritage; from religion to old Russian inventions. Who do you hope will read The Exposed?

The Exposed is driven by storytelling. We deliberately intend to uncover a diverse view on a specific topic. What binds the magazine together is a strong visual approach and the idea that all stories are narrated by the artist themselves. We want to bring the reader closer to the artist to convey that intimate experience. Our readers are mostly people in the spectrum of design, photography, film, media and technology. From the beginning it was important for us that the printed magazine would have certain quality in order to appeal the tech sceptics. On the other hand we were aware that we had to use the technology in a clever way to create an experience that would also impress the tech savvy. I think it was this constant battle that made the magazine what it is today.

How are contributors to the magazine selected?

We look for stories that are bounded in documentary. The driver is real people telling real stories; it’s not journalism, but you could probably draw parallels to the film documentary genre docu-fiction, which starts with a real scenario and combines it with staged and fictional elements. Additionally we look for artist who work across media. At this stage we usually start with a strong visual narrative and in collaboration with the artist we discuss the possibilities of adding new or existing digital content. The magic happens when we come across artists who see the potential of our medium and understand how it can add different layers and perspectives to their project.

What are your plans for the future? Have you found your format of choice or will you be on the look out for the next technological advance?

The last couple of years we’ve seen media evolve rapidly with the entry of new technology. The templates for storytelling and publishing have gone from fixed to flexible and it has opened up new opportunities for publishers as well as artists. A journal can be written on paper, on a webpage, as a chatbot, it can be spoken through a podcast, performed through a video or experienced through virtual reality. All these channels and many more have opened up a future where we constantly have to adapt and push the boundaries of the medium as well as the themes and stories explored. We are intrigued by this development and with The Exposed Magazine we wish to continue to experiment and implement these new opportunities as a way to bring a small voice into a big and complex world.

Find out more about the Exposed and purchase an issue.